The Olds Grizzlys were silenced on the weekend, suffering back-to-back shutouts against one of the Alberta Junior Hockey League's best teams, the Brooks Bandits, on Saturday and the Drayton Valley Thunder on Friday. The Bandits downed the Grizzlys 3-0 in Brooks, while the Thunder also downed the Grizzlys 3-0 in front of 512 fans at the Olds Sports Complex.
The Grizzlys also lost 4-1 to the Bandits on Tuesday in front of the home crowd.
In both shutouts, all the goals came in one period. The Bandits got two powerplay goals and an empty-netter in the third period, while the Thunder got their three goals – two on the powerplay and one short-handed – in the first period.
The Grizzlys did manage to fire 36 shots on Thunder stopper Curtis Martinu, while Grizzlys' goaltender Brandon Thiessen stopped 20 shots.
Grizzlys' coach Kevin Willison said despite the hard luck, the team played hard on the weekend.
“We're really having a tough time putting the puck in the net,” he said, adding that the team's confidence is at a low point currently. “The adversity has lingered on a little long here, but it's going to take some hard work (to turn it around).”
Willison said there were several pucks in the crease against Drayton Valley that the Grizzlys couldn't pounce on before Martinu got to them. He said Martinu made several key stops, including what seemed to be a sure goal off the stick of Tanner Dunkle.
In other Grizzlys news, Brandon Sloan was shipped on Thursday to the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for Jesse Ehnisze and Ty Morgan.
Willison said Ehnisze should give the Grizzlys a boost between the pipes, as he played well in the SJHL this season. Adam Wersink is now the odd man out in nets and was put on waivers. Ty Morgan, a rookie who has shown good grit in the Saskatchewan league, was also picked up and should grow into a good centre in the next couple of years, Willison said.
"We're really having a tough time putting the puck in the net."Kevin Willison, head coach, Olds Grizzlys