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 dropped a pair of games this past weekend, first losing 4-3 at home, to Ontario on Friday night, in front of a packed house, then by a score of 4-1 in Stockton on Saturday.
In Friday night’s loss, both Josh Currie and Joe Gambardella had stellar performances, with a goal, an assist, and five shots each. Gambardella scored once again on Saturday, a goal assisted by Marcus Granlund and Evan Bouchard.
After the two losses, Bakersfield’s playoff outlook has taken a serious hit. At 19-20-4-1, the Condors are now in sixth place out of seven teams in the Pacific Division. They’re six points behind fourth place Ontario for the final playoff spot, with one game in hand. But, fifth place San Diego is also a point above the Condors, despite playing three fewer games. Catching either Ontario or San Diego will not be an easy task, and the top three teams in the division seem to be in another tier this season. Playoffs don’t look likely, without a significant winning streak.
The Thunder dropped a pair of games to the Allen Americans this past weekend, and now have a record of 19-22-8. They sit in sixth place in their division. They’re a well below average ECHL squad, who will likely just be playing out the stretch for the remainder of the regular season.
Alberta Golden Bears
The Bears won back-to-back games in Regina this past weekend, outscoring the Cougars 12-4 in the process (6-3 and 6-1). The +8 goal differential in the two-game set outperformed my projection from last week (Bear -6.7), by 1.3 goals.
This weekend, the Golden Bears host the Manitoba Bisons for two games at Clare Drake Arena.
My CWUAA model gives the Golden Bears a 91% chance to win each game, as well as an expected supremacy of 7.5 goals, and a projected total of 14.4 goals for the pair of games.
The Ooks didn’t play this past weekend, but are set to face Augustana for a pair of games this weekend.
The Griffins, almost inexplicably, lost a pair of games (one in overtime) to the Conference’s second worst team, Briercrest College, this past weekend. After an impressive stretch, which caused me to speculate that they might be a worthy match for the first place Ooks last week, they now seem to be a significant step down from NAIT, and likely Red Deer College, as well.