The Roundup -

Watford City Oilers Regular Season In Rewind & Upcoming State Tournament


The 2011 and 2012 Watford City Oilers hockey season kicked off with an annual tournament on Thanksgiving weekend in Sidney. The excitement of a new high school hockey season was underway but, many questions about the Oilers’ depth, youth and experience would be the story line throughout the year. With seven seniors gone from last season’s second place finish, six freshmen coming up from bantams, and only two seniors, the Oilers were voted to finish towards the bottom of the league. The work ethic and willingness to learn was the key to our success in 2011 and 2012. The Sidney tournament showed a lack of experience, losing two of our first three games and getting outscored 23-11.

The second week in December is on everybody’s calendar where the Oilers travel to their rival’s home town, Sidney. The Oilers were defeated 7-1 but the players and coaches knew they would get a chance at redemption in the second half of the season. With the season in full swing the Oilers made their first trip to the east side of the state to play Grand Forks and Langdon. The first game on Saturday was against the Grand Forks Stallions, with a rough first period the Oilers were down 2-0 after one period but, with hard work and a chip on their shoulder the Oilers fought back to a 5-5 tie. They would then go on to lose to the top rated Langdon Blades.

The struggles continued throughout the first half of the season but the second half of the season was a different story and a great way to end the regular season. The youth and lack of a senior heavy team was starting to understand the systems and that anybody can be beaten on any given day if they play within their systems. Feb. 11, the Oilers were at home playing the Crosby Comets who were undefeated and looking to achieve the undefeated season. The Oilers got on the board first with Brandon Taylor finding the net early. Crosby would then answer back to even the score. With only seconds left in the first period the Oilers had retaken the lead with a snipe from the top of the circles. The Oilers went on to knock off the undefeated Crosby Comets in a thrilling fashion by a score of 4-2. That game will go down in Oiler history as one of the biggest upsets of all time. Feeling confident after their win against Crosby the Oilers went on to split their next two games against May Port and Fargo.

The final regular season game had the all the storylines of a great contest between the Watford City Oilers and the Richland Rangers. Not only was pride between these teams on the line but a 5th seed slot at the state tournament. The building was packed and rocking because of the speed both teams showed. The game was filled with goals, big hits, and a fast paced game. The Oilers went on to win the game 8-2 and closed the regular season out by winning three of their last four games.

The Watford City Oilers are led by two seniors: Captain Jaden Grotte and Kalden Heggen followed by the juniors: Assistant Captain Brandon Taylor, Assistant Captain Alex Hansen, Assistant Captain Davis Zubke, Reece Frick, Katie Skarda and Guy Ross. The only sophomore is Brandon Allex and the freshmen class is made up of Ted Ramage, Dalton Wright, Bo Heiser, Daniel Marmon, Jonathan Dunn and Wyatt Stall. The Oilers are heading into the state tournament as a fifth seed, playing at 3 p.m. on Thursday against the Fargo Flames. The winner of that game will be playing on BEK sports for the semifinal game at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

Good luck to all the players, coaches and fans heading to Langdon to support their hometown Watford City Oilers!


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