Photo Credit – Game Ready Photography:
It?s the last weekend of AJHL action for the month of October and all teams are nearing the one-third mark of the 2019-2020 season. There?s certainly been some impressive showings early on, as it?s impossible not to notice the undefeated 15-0 start of the Brooks Bandits or the high octane offence of the Sherwood Park Crusaders, which has put up 84 goals in just 16 games, with 22 of those goals coming off the stick of Carter Savoie. Here?s what every team in the AJHL has on the docket this weekend.
15-0-0, 1st AJHL South
Weekend Schedule: Friday vs Thunder; Saturday vs Saints
The Brooks Bandits have taken no prisoners as they enter the last weekend of October undefeated and rolling on a 15-game win streak (and counting). Fresh off a tightly contested shootout victory against the Okotoks Oilers, which saw goaltender Pierce Charleson outduel Ashton Abel in net, the Bandits will go for sweet 16 on Friday night at home against the Thunder. On Saturday, Brooks will be the site of the latest chapter of one of the best rivalries in the league when the Spruce Grove Saints invade the CRA.
8-4-2, 3rd AJHL North
Weekend Schedule: Saturday vs Storm; Sunday vs Oil Barons
The Bonnyville Pontiacs have unfortunately found themselves mired in a four game losing streak, unable to take two points since a 5-3 road win over the Storm in Grande Prairie on October 11th. Despite the slide, the Pontiacs still has a two-point edge on the Whitecourt Wolverines for 3rd in the AJHL North and did pick up a point in a back-and-forth shootout loss to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons earlier this week. The Pontiacs will have a shot to end the skid Saturday as they host the last team they beat ? the Storm ? and before looking to avenge the shootout loss to the MOB on Sunday.
2-12-1, 7th AJHL South
Weekend Schedule: Friday @ Eagles; Saturday @ Grizzlys
The Calgary Canucks have a big road trip this weekend as they will once against take on rivals in the Canmore Eagles and the Olds Grizzlys for the second time in three weekends. In their last meeting against the Eagles, the Canucks snapped a losing streak while Christiano Aiello completed his hat trick into an empty net to secure the 4-2 win. The Canucks will then try for their first win against the Grizzlys this season in their third matchup. In the previous meetings, the Canucks fell in regulation and in the shootout.
6-5-2, 4th AJHL South
Weekend Schedule: Friday vs Storm; Saturday @ Oilers
The Camrose Kodiaks have gone 4-2 over the course of October so far, with both losses coming to the powerhouse Brooks Bandits. The Kodiaks would likely relish an opportunity to get back at Brooks this weekend, but they?ll have to wait as they host Grande Prairie on Friday before travelling south to play the Okotoks Oilers on Saturday. Forwards Erik Miller and Cody Laskosky still pace the Kodiak attack, with 21 and 20 points respectively.
5-9-1, 5th AJHL South
Weekend Schedule: Friday vs Canucks
The Canmore Eagles have lost five of their last six, picking up 3 points over the stretch. Positively, Canmore is coming off an overtime loss against the Drumheller Dragons and can use this momentum entering their only game of the weekend on Friday night against the Canucks. The last time these two met, it would be the Canucks who ended a losing streak so the Eagles will look to return the favour. Eagles forwards Connor Lyons and Alex Young are both on five game point streaks, with Lyons also tallying a goal in four straight.
Drayton Valley Thunder
4-9-2, 7th AJHL North
Weekend Schedule: Friday @ Bandits; Saturday @ Dragons
The Drayton Valley Thunder have gone 1-1-1 in their last three and have opened up a gap on their hold of the final playoff spot in the North over the Lloydmisnter Bobcats. On the road this weekend, the Thunder will see how they measure up against a pair of teams high in the standings in the Brooks Bandits and the Drumheller Dragons. The Thunder are coming off a road shootout loss to another top team this week, the Saints, and will certainly not be intimated by what the standings say this weekend.
10-4-2, 3rd AJHL South
Weekend Schedule: Friday vs Saints; Saturday vs Thunder
The Drumheller Dragons have gone for a rip, picking up wins in their last four games while scoring at least four times in each victory. The last two wins have been in thrilling fashion, as the Dragons walked away with a pair of high scoring victories over the Olds Grizzlys (6-5) and Canmore Eagles (4-3). This weekend, the Dragons will host a pair of North division teams in the Saints on Friday and the Thunder on Saturday, playing each squad for the first time this season. Forward Eric Martin is currently on a league-high 8-game point streak.
Fort McMurray Oil Barons
5-9-1, 6th AJHL North
Weekend Schedule: Friday @ Bobcats; Saturday @ Bobcats; Sunday @ Pontiacs
Having edged the Bonnyville Pontiacs in a shootout 6-5 on Tuesday, the Oil Barons look to build a winning streak this weekend over the course of a three-game road trip. The MOB will spend the bulk of their weekend in Lloydminster taking on the Bobcats for the first time this season. Lloydminster is looking to halt a losing streak before it hits double digits, so the Oil Barons will face a stiff back-to-back test. On the way back to Fort McMurray on Sunday, the Oil Barons will pay a visit to the Pontiacs for the second matchup between the two inside of a week.
Grande Prairie Storm
6-9-0, 5th AJHL North
Weekend Schedule: Friday @ Kodiaks; Saturday @ Pontiacs; Sunday @ Crusaders
The Grande Prairie Storm are also on a lengthy three games in three days road trip this weekend, and they?ll look to earn their second win of the month and more. The Storm will also look to break up a three game losing streak and are winless since defeating the Drayton Valley Thunder on October 9th.
1-12-2, 8th AJHL North
Weekend Schedule: Friday vs MOB; Saturday vs MOB
The Lloydminster Bobcats are hoping to end a league-long nine game losing streak and earn their first win of the month this weekend. The Bobcats would also love to get something going offensively in front of the home crowd as they?ve been shutout four times in October and twice in their last three games. The Bobcats have had the luxury of over a week off to prepare for this weekend, and will certainly be aggressive as they try to change their early season fortunes.
12-2-2, 2nd AJHL South
Weekend Schedule: Friday vs Grizzlys; Saturday vs Kodiaks
The Okotoks Oilers had a four game win streak ended by the Brooks Bandits in an exciting shootout on Tuesday night and have picked up a point in every game they?ve played in October. The Oilers will look to keep that impressive streak going with a pair of home games this weekend, welcoming the Olds Grizzlys and Camrose Kodiaks. The Oilers have yet to play the Grizzlys this season, while they are 1-0-1 against the Kodiaks after a 3-2 Camrose overtime win earlier this month.
3-10-1, 6th AJHL South
Weekend Schedule: Friday @ Oilers; Saturday vs Canucks
The Olds Grizzlys may be entering this weekend losers of three straight, but they also have picked up a point in two of their last four games. The first game on the weekend is a stiff test for Olds, as they pay a visit to the Okotoks Oilers for the first meeting between the South division teams this campaign. From there, Olds returns home to welcome the Calgary Canucks in a big early season game for both clubs as they are separated by just two points entering the weekend.
Sherwood Park Crusaders
15-1-0, 1st AJHL North
Weekend Schedule: Friday vs Wolverines; Sunday vs Storm
Winners of seven straight, the Sherwood Park Crusaders look to keep on rolling and filling the opposition net this weekend. The Cru boast the top three scorers in the AJHL: William Zapernick (11-18-29); Arjun Atwal (7-28-35); and Carter Savoie (22-15-37). The Crusaders will host the Wolverines on Friday and have averaged six goals in their two victories over Whitecourt thus far this season. On Saturday, they take on the Storm for the first time in 2019-2020.
Spruce Grove Saints
13-2-0, 2nd AJHL North
Weekend Schedule: Friday @ Dragons; Saturday @ Bandits
The Spruce Grove Saints edged the Drayton Valley Thunder 3-2 in the shootout earlier this week to push their latest win streak to five games. This weekend, the Saints have a tough road trip ahead of them as they take on two of the top three teams in the South. On Friday, the Saints will go head to head with the Dragons for the first time this season and then end their road trip in Brooks on Saturday for a finals rematch against the Bandits. The Saints fell 5-3 to the Bandits earlier this season.
7-6-2, 4th AJHL North
Weekend Schedule: Friday @ Crusaders
In their last six games, the Whitecourt Wolverines have alternated wins and losses. For the second time this week, the Wolverines will take on the Sherwood Park Crusaders. On Tuesday, night, the Crusaders would shutdown Whitecourt 5-1 in the Dub-C so the Wolverines will look to return the favour when they visit the Park. Whitecourt?s Kaleb Ergang has picked up a point in seven straight games, while teammate Cassidy Bowes has put his name on the scoresheet in five straight contests.