Let’s check in with some of the less covered teams that may be of interest to Oilers fans, or fans of local hockey in Edmonton:
The Condors have hit a bit of a rough patch since our last check-in. They’ve earned only four points in their last five games, with only one win.
They dropped a game 3-0 to the Colorado Eagles on November 15, despite outshooting the eagles 43-26. They won the next game 3-2 to Colorado, but have dropped three straight since. Stockton beat them 4-3 in overtime, on Bakersfield’s annual ‘Field Trip Day’ matinee game.
This past weekend in Des Moins, Iowa, was probably the low point of the Condors’ season so far. They lost 4-2 in regulation on Friday, then at least mustered a point on Saturday, in a 4-3 shootout loss. But the most troubling part was that they were outshot 88-54 over the two-game stretch. That brings their season-long shot share back down to nearly a break-even level, at 50.6%. Their goal share has dropped to 46.7%, in the meantime, and it’s starting to look less likely that the Condors can replicate last year’s regular season division title.
The Thunder have earned five points in their last five games, their current record is 9-5-4. 22 points in 18 games is obviously not bad at all, but it’s kind of misleading, since they’ve actually lost half of their games. They rank fourth of seven teams in their division, despite 56 goals for to 64 goals against on the year.
Alberta Golden Bears
The Bears made quick work of Regina two weekends ago, beating them 4-2 on November 15th, and 9-0 on the 16th. They have now defeated Regina in 51 consecutive meetings! Also, not to brag, but the 13-2 score over that two-game set was almost exactly what my model predicted.
The Bears then split last weekend’s two-game series against Manitoba last weekend. They took the first game with a 2-0 shutout, but then dropped Saturday night’s meeting 5-3, despite outshooting the Bisons 33-13.
This coming weekend, the Bears will take on the UBC Thunderbirds at Clare Drake Arena, on both Friday and Saturday night. My CWUAA model gives the Bears a 92% chance of winning each game, and an 84% chance of pulling off the sweep. The Bears are projected for 9.1 goals this weekend, while the T-Birds are in for 2.7. I’m going to say 4-2 Bears on Friday night and 5-1 Bears on Saturday.
The Ooks have won all four of their contests since our last check-in, outscoring their opponents 26-6 in the process. They currently lead the ACAC in both record (11-1-0), and goal differential (+40, 66 for, 26 against).
Meanwhile, Edmonton’s other ACAC contender has been rolling as well. The Griffins, like the Ooks, have won six straight, including all four since our last check-in. After outscoring SAIT in back-to-back games on the 15th and 16th, by a 7-3 margin, The Griffins absolutely dominated Portage last weekend. They put up 16 goals, while only surrendering one. This brings their season-long goal differential to +38, second to only NAIT in the ACAC, while their 9-3-0 record has them in third, behind NAIT and Red Deer College.
NAIT and Grant MacEwan will play each other in a home-and-home this weekend, in a matchup that should act as a good measuring stick for both teams.