January 26, 2011

Oilers pick up wins over Langdon and Mayville

The Watford City boys hockey team went 2-1 in league action this past weekend as the Oilers fell to Grand Forks, but came back to pick up wins over Langdon and Mayville.
On Friday, the Oilers matched up with the No. 1 team in the state, the Grand Forks Stallions, dropping a close contest 4-3. Grand Forks scored the game’s first two goals before sophomore Brandon Taylor cut the lead to one on a Jayden Grotte assist. Grand Forks scored the final goal in the first period with 2:57 remaining for a 3-1 lead at the break.
Senior Chris Larsen then got the Oilers back to a one goal deficit as he ripped a shot over the shoulder of the Stallion goalie just 24 seconds into the second period on an Oiler power play. Senior Captain Douglas Nordby and Taylor added assists. Larsen would then add his second goal of the night with 6:12 remaining when he pounced on a loose puck in the goal crease. Austin Patten set up the goal on a blast from the point.
Grand Forks scored the game winner with 8:37 left on a broken play in front of Oiler goalie, Kalden Heggen. The Oilers had great scoring chances late in the game only to be stopped by Stallion goalie, Trevor Berg. Heggen kicked aside 28 Grand Forks shots while Berg turned aside 31 Oiler shots.
Not only was the loss painful, but the Oilers lost the services of Austin Patten for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury. The loss of Patten from the team puts the Oilers defense a little short. The kids will have to step up and try to fill the void left by Patten’s departure. Patten played one of his best games on Friday in the 4-3 loss.
On Saturday, the Oilers matched up against the No. 2 Langdon Blades and skated to a 5-1 win.
Junior defenseman Bo Yesel, put the Oilers up 1-0 on an unassisted tally at 12:51. Yesel carried the puck into the Blades end and rifled a snap shot past the Blades’ goalie, Brady Crockett. Langdon would answer at 16:35 of the second period beating Heggen high, glove side on a power play.
Brandon Taylor next scored for the  Oilers on an unassisted goal with Chris Larsen scoring the third Oiler goal as he picked up a loose puck to put the Oilers up 3-1 with 4:05 remaining in the second period. Yesel and Captain Douglas Rolfson added assists. Douglas Nordby padded the Oilers’ lead when he blasted a snap shot off the crossbar with 3:06 remaining. Reid Kinden added the assist.
The final Oiler goal came with 4:49 left in the game when Jayden Grotte blocked a shot in the Oilers’ defensive zone and skated the length of the rink taking a good low shot. Crockett kicked aside Grotte’s shot, but Larsen was there to bang in the rebound for his second goal of the night. Heggen turned aside 29 Blades’ shots and was named the Game Star on BEK Sports.
The Oilers final game of the weekend was against the May-Port Ice Dawgs with Watford City skating to an 8-3 victory.
May-Port drew first blood when Jace Ingebretson split the Oilers’ defense and went in all alone on Heggen, beating him glove side. But Jayden Grotte would answer as he  converted a feed from Taylor into a power play goal for Watford City.
The Oilers would score six times in the second period to put the game out of May-Port’s reach. The first of the flurry of goals came at18:51 when Taylor deked the Ice Dawgs’ Nelson with Rolfson picking up the assist. The Oilers next two goals came while they were short-handed due to penalties. The first came from Larsen on an assist by Taylor and then Taylor scored unassisted when he blasted a shot past Nelson. Taylor scored his hat trick goal with 6:41 remaining when he tipped in a shot from sophomore defenseman Davis Zubke. Rolfson then blasted a slapshot past Nelson high glove side on  an assist by Yesel at 4:25. And then just 18 seconds later, Nordby battled for a loose puck and hammered it home. Yesel assisted on Nordby’s goal.
Taylor added his fourth goal of the game at 17:24 of the third period  to put the Oilers up 8-1. Grotte was credited with the assist. May-Port scored the final two goals of the game at 8:48 and 2:42 for an 8-3 final. Heggen turned aside 12 shots while Nelson turned aside 43 Oiler shots.
The Oilers travel to Grand Forks this weekend to play in the Stallions hockey tournament.