Oilers split in hockey action
By Neal A. Shipman
The Watford City Junior Gold hockey team split a pair of games this past weekend as the Oilers lost a home game to the May-Port Ice Dawgs, 8-4, and then beat the Minot Wolves, 4-1, in Minot.
The Oilers were without the services of Team Co-Captain Brandon Allex who had prior commitments. The Oilers opened the scoring in Friday’s game when Junior defenseman Cody Johnson took an assist from Eric Hellandsaas and ripped a slapshot past the Ice Dawgs’ goaltender for an early Oiler lead. May-Port scored two late goals to take a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period. May-Port then tacked on two goals early in the second period to build their lead to 3-1, and took a commanding lead. But Oilers Junior center Ted Ramage kept the Oilers in reach as he picked up a loose puck and walked in all alone, only to be fouled from behind, setting up a penalty shot. On the penalty shot, Ramage faked to the backhand and slid the puck just inside the post to cut the lead to 3-2.
Good pressure kept the Oilers in the offensive zone and Eric Leiseth slid the puck past the Ice Dawgs’ goalie to knot the score at 3-3. Ramage and Johnson were credited with assists on the goal.
May-Port answered just 20 seconds later when the Oilers had a defensive breakdown to re-take the lead. Hellandsaas answered back for Watford City five minutes later knocking in a rebound off Ramage’s stick.
With 3:09 left in the second period, May-Port would strike again to hold a narrow lead heading into the final period. May-Port then scored three unanswered goals in the third period to close out the scoring and take the 8-4 win.
Jon Dunn turned aside 40 shots on the night.
On Saturday, the Oilers were in Minot and skated to a 4-1 win over the Minot Wolves.
The Oilers had a slow start and trailed 1-0 after one period of play. Dalton Wright opened the scoring in the second period when he slammed home a rebound off a shot from Daniel Marmon. Derrike Hayden was credited with an assist on Wright’s goal. Ramage put the Oilers up, 2-1, on an unassisted goal just two minutes later.
The Oilers kept the scoring rolling when Sophomore defenseman Tyler Uhlich scored his first goal of the season as he ripped a snapshot over the shoulder of the Wolves’ netminder for a unassisted goal. Ted Ramage would add an empty net goal with 1:40 to play for a commanding, 4-1, Oilers’ lead. Marmon added the assist on the goal.
Jon Dunn kicked aside 31 Minot shots.
The next action for the Oilers will be the Grand Forks Tournament on Jan. 24 - 26. They then return to league action on Jan. 31 when Watford City hosts the Minot Wolves at 7 p.m. at the McKenzie County Multi-Purpose Building.