It's a busy weekend in the AJHL that will see 15 games played. With just six weeks left in the season teams are posturing for playoff positioning.
Bonnyville Pontiacs (19-18-6) 5th in the North
The Pontiacs will host the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Saturday for their only game. The Pontiacs enter the weekend just one point behind the Crusaders for fourth place, but they have the red hot Whitecourt Wolverines nipping at their heels sitting just six points behind the Pontiacs. Bonnyville is 5-5 in their last ten games and have a .500 (9-9-2) home record on ice.
Drayton Valley Thunder (12-21-9) 7th in the North & Whitecourt Wolverines (16-21-6) 6th in the North
It's a key home, and home as five points separate the Whitecourt Wolverines and Drayton Valley Thunder as the two teams in the standings. Drayton Valley and Whitecourt are two teams going in opposite directions as of late. The Wolverines have won four straight games and are 7-1-2 in their last ten while the Thunder have lost four in a row and are 2-4-4 in their last 10.
Fort McMurray Oil Barons (25-15-4) 3rd in the North
The Fort McMurray Oil Barons will play a pair of divisional road games. Fort McMurray enters the weekend one point behind the second place Bobcats and nine points ahead of the Crusaders. Speaking of the Crusaders, that is where the Oil Barons will start their weekend road trip is in Sherwood Park on Friday. Saturday the Oil Barons will be in Bonnyville to battle the Pontiacs. The Oil Barons are 9-8-4 on the road this season but are 7-2-1 in their last ten games.
Grande Prairie Storm (13-29-2) 8th in the North
The Storm will hit the road to take on a pair of south division opponents. The Storm have struggled in their last ten games going 1-7-2 and are five points back of the final playoff spot. On the road, the Storm are 6-15 this season and will be looking to improve that record. Friday Grande Prairie will be in Camrose to take on the Kodiaks while Saturday night they will be in Olds to take on the Grizzlys.
Lloydminster Bobcats (25-14-5) 2nd in the North
It's a busy weekend for the Bobcats who will play three games in two and half days in the south division. The Bobcats enter the weekend with a one point lead on the Oil Barons for second in the North. The Bobcats are 6-3-1 in their last ten games and 11-8-2 on the road this season. Friday the Bobcats will be in Canmore to take on the Eagles. Saturday they head to the city to take on the Calgary Canucks before finishing off the weekend in Okotoks on Sunday afternoon.
Sherwood Park Crusaders (20-20-5) 4th in the North
The Crusaders will play just once this weekend as they will host the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Friday night. The Crusaders are just one point ahead of the Pontiacs for fourth place and nine points back of the Oil Barons for third. The Crusaders are 12-7-2 at home this season but haven't had a great last ten games going 2-7-1. Sherwood Park has yet to win in 2015 and are looking to snap a four game slide.
Spruce Grove Saints (36-6-3) 1st in the North
The hottest team in the AJHL will play a pair of road games in the south. The Saints are 19-5 on the road and have won 10 in a row to extend their lead for the top spot in the north to 20 points. Saturday the Saints will be in Drumheller before finishing off the weekend Sunday afternoon in Calgary against the Mustangs. The Saints hold an eight point lead over the Kodiaks for first place in the AJHL and have a chance to extend that lead this weekend.
Brooks Bandits (32-10-1) 2nd in the South
The Brooks Bandits got off to a good start in 2015 going 4-1 in the first five games and have closed within two points of the Kodiaks for the top spot in the South. The Bandits will start the weekend hosting the Olds Grizzlys before heading to Okotoks to take on the Oilers on Saturday night. The Bandits enter the weekend having won two straight games and are 7-3 in their last ten games.
Calgary Canucks (14-23-6) 7th in the South
The Canucks will play just once this weekend as they will host the Lloydminster Bobcats on Saturday.The Canucks enter the weekend seven points ahead of the Mustangs for the last playoff spot and seven points behind Canmore for sixth in the division. The Canucks are looking to turn things around having gone 3-5-2 in their last ten games. On home ice, the Canucks are 11-12-1 this season.
Calgary Mustangs (12-29-3) 8th in the South
The Calgary Mustangs will play a pair of games this weekend. The Mustangs had their four game winning streak snapped last Sunday against the Eagles and will take on the Eagles in Canmore on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon the Mustangs will host the Spruce Grove Saints. Calgary enters the weekend seven points out of the final playoff spot but are 4-5-1 in their last ten games.
Camrose Kodiaks (32-7-3) 1st in the South
The Kodiaks have struggled to start out 2015 and have watched their lead in the south drop to just two points on the Bandits. The Kodiaks have dropped three straight games but will look to turn that around with a pair of home games this weekend. The Kodiaks are 5-4-1 in their last 10 and are 14-5-1 on home ice. Friday the Kodiaks will welcome the Grande Prairie Storm and then on Sunday the Dragons will be in town to face the Kodiaks.
Canmore Eagles (20-22-1) 6th in the South
Canmore will play a pair of home games this weekend as they try and close the gap on the fifth place Grizzlys. The Eagles are just five points behind the Grizz and are 5-5 in their last ten games. The Eagles will play host to Lloydminster on Friday and then the Calgary Mustangs on Saturday. Canmore is 11-10 on home ice this season.
Drumheller Dragons (24-14-6) 4th in the South
The up and down season continues for the Dragons, but they are right now looking to climb a high and catch the Okotoks Oilers for 3rd in the South. The Dragons will play twice this weekend against the top two teams in the AJHL. Saturday the Dragons, who are 5-4-1 in their last 10, will host the Spruce Grove Saints, Sunday the Dragons hit the road to take on the Camrose Kodiaks.
Okotoks Oilers (27-12-4) 3rd in the South
The Oilers will have a pair of crucial home games this weekend as they look to close the gap on the second place Bandits and keep the fourth place Dragons at bay. The Oilers are 4-5-1 in their last ten games but are 14-3-4 on home ice this season. Saturday the Oilers will host the Brooks Bandits before taking on the Lloydminster Bobcats on Sunday.
Olds Grizzlys (20-16-6) 5th in the South
The Olds Grizzlys will also play a pair of games this weekend. Friday they will be in Brooks to take on the Bandits before returning home to face the Grande Prairie Storm on Saturday night. The Grizzlys enter the weekend with a five-point lead on the Eagles for fifth place and an eight-point deficit on the fourth place Dragons. Couple a strong finish to 2014 and a decent start to 2015 and the Grizzlys are 5-3-2 in their last ten games.
Story By Chris Colwell