Posted 3/16/11 (Wed)
The Watford City Oilers Bantam team traveled to Wahpeton last weekend for the North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association B2 State Tournament.
The Oilers, with their 8-4-4 league record, were the highest seeded team from the West Region and drew the Grafton/Park River Spoilers in the first-round game on Friday. The Oilers came out looking sluggish in the first period, but managed to keep it close at 2-1 with Daniel Marmon scoring on a nice pass from Ted Ramage on the power play.
After allowing the Spoilers to score in the first twelve seconds of the second period, the Oilers turned things around, scoring five unanswered goals. Cody Johnson started the comeback with a shot from the point that went just over the left pad of the Spoilers’ goalie. Three minutes later, Marmon tied the game with the assists coming from Derrike Hayden and Dalton Wright. Jonathan Dunn then scored to put the Oilers up for good with the assist coming from Erick Leiseth.
In the third period, the Oilers added two insurance goals with Wright scoring his first goal of the tournament, assisted by Marmon and Ramage, and Marmon getting his hat trick and Ramage getting his playmaker on an empty-netter that Wright also assisted on. Goalie Cody Bellon ended the game with a total of 18 saves. The defensemen, Brandon Allex, Wyatt Staal, Beau Heiser, Hayden and Johnson played a solid game in front of Bellon, and limited the Spoilers to just one shot in the third period.
In the semifinal game, the Oilers took on the highest seeded team from the Southeast Region, the Fargo Angels Black. The Angels started the scoring, but the Oilers answered less than a minute later as Reed Skarda rifled one in from the slot with Dunn earning the assist. The Angels scored next, but the Oilers again tied things up less than a minute later with Dunn burying a power play goal through the Angels’ goalie’s five hole with assists by Skarda and James Miller.
After a scoreless second period, Marmon put the Oilers up with a short-handed goal sprung by Hayden with 9:26 left in the third. One minute later, Miller added to the lead by finding the back of the net off of a terrific centering pass by Dunn.
With three minutes remaining in regulation, the Angels started fighting back, scoring two goals, and tying the game with 1:37 left in the third, and eventually forcing overtime. The Oilers overcame the big momentum shift scoring on their first shot of the extra period after 2:22 had elapsed. Wright made a great deflection off of a low, hard shot from the point by team captain Beau Heiser, putting the Oilers into the championship game with the 5-4 victory. Bellon was challenged often, stopping 28 Angels’ shots.
The championship game pitted the Oilers against the highest seeded team from the Northeast, the Grand Forks Spartans.
The Oilers opened the scoring early in the first period with a Marmon goal, assisted by Wright and Ramage. But the Oilers could not get another goal until the third period when Dunn scored off of an assist from Leiseth, making it 3-2 Spartans.
This time the Oilers could not finish the comeback and the game ended in a 5-2 Oilers defeat. Bellon faced his highest shot total of the tournament, stopping 30 of 35 Spartans’ shots.