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 went 2-1-0 this past week, dropping an ugly midweek game 5-0 in San Jose, before sweeping a 2-game weekend series in Ontario, CA. Despite rising in the standings, the team’s goal and shot shares did both take a slight hit. They currently sit at a 48.4% goal share on the year, and a 52.5% shot share.
Tyler Benson has now taken over the team’s point scoring lead, with 9 points in 11 games, while Josh Currie leads the team in shot generation by a wide margin. His 42 shots in 11 games put him at a 68-game pace of 260 shots on goal. Currie ranks 6th in the AHL, and first in the Pacific Division in shots. Interestingly, only one player in the AHL had more than 260 shots last year, and the Pacific Division’s high water mark (which is significant due to the division’s abbreviated schedule), was only 178 shots.
Currie is an interesting call-up candidate, if the Oilers continue to experience trouble generating offence from the bottom of their lineup. The tenacious forward has some serious shot generation skills, and would allow the organization to leave younger prospects, with more perceived upside in the minors longer, for seasoning and confidence.
The Thunder have been trending up since our last check-in. With 2 wins and an overtime loss in the past week, the Thunder’s record has improved to 4-2-3. 11 points in 9 games. Their points % ranks third in the Mountain Division, and tied for 7th in the ECHL’s Western Conference.
Alberta Golden Bears
The Bears didn’t play last week, but will play a home-and-home against Calgary this weekend. The series will be a matchup of the first place Bears (7-1, with a +19 goal differential), and the second place Dinos (6-1-1, with a +17 goal differential).
My CWUAA model gives the Bears a 63% chance to win their home half of the series, and a 52% chance to win in Calgary.
The Ooks sit at 5-1 through six games, first in the ACAC. They didn’t play this past weekend, but will face Augustana in a home-and-home on November 8 and 9. With a +12 goal differential though 6 games, NAIT seems to be the class of the ACAC, and should be considered the heavy favourite to win it.
The Griffins absolutely pulverized Briercrest twice this past weekend, Winning 15-3 on Friday night, and 11-3 on Saturday. Their record is now 5-3, and, unsurprisingly, they now lead the ACAC in goals for (43) and goal differential (+19), despite entering last weekend with a (-1) goal diff.
The Griffins don’t play this coming weekend, but will have a home-and-home against SAIT on November 15th and 16th.