The Big Valley Oil Kings appear ready for battle in the Battle River Hockey League.
The senior AA Oil Kings opened the regular season this past weekend with a pair of home victories over the 0-3 Macklin Mohawks — 7-1 on Sunday afternoon and 9-3 on Saturday night.
“It was a great way to start the season,” said Big Valley coach Scott Schell. “We got two wins and displayed strong offence, as all four lines contributed.
“We still need to work on tightening up without the puck, but I liked how the team came together throughout the weekend. I look forward to when we get firing on all cylinders.”
The Oil Kings are back home this weekend for a doubleheader — Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. — against the Wainwright Rustlers.
Colin Stebner was solid in the Big Valley net Sunday with a 30-save performance. Macklin spoiled his shutout bid with a power-play goal in the final two minutes.
The Oil Kings responded with 36 shots, including two goals each from Ryan Kallis and Jeff Smitten and one each from Dustin Moore, Sean Neumeier and Matt Kinnunen.
They led 3-0 after the first period and 5-0 after 40 minutes.
Saturday’s game was “the first time the group was together in a game situation and the local fans were treated to some fast-paced offensive hockey from the home squad,” Schell said.
Denver Wik got the Oil Kings started with his goal just 40 seconds into the season-opener. The Mohawks evened the score a minute later, but Big Valley answered with three straight (from Kinnunen, Cory Konecny and Alex Hustad) before the period ended.
Konecny netted a hat trick and Jeff Clazie potted a pair in Big Valley’s initial victory.
Smitten also scored for the Oil Kings, who took a 7-1 lead into the final period.
Chance Clark made 21 saves in the Big Valley net.