With 15 games remaining in the regular season schedule, the Oregon Tradesmen (12-13-0-0) know that opportunity to make an impact during postseason begins now. The team also know how quickly that opportunity could slip away.
With COVID-19 restrictions in Dade County, the Tradesmen have found themselves without a “home” rink this entire season. Playing as the home team in an opponents rink or traveling to Janesville or Monroe to host a game has added another stress in what is already a long Junior hockey season.
Since the new calendar year Oregon have a 4-5-0-0 record which has seen the team slip down the NA3HL Central standings. The Tradesmen are now tied for third with the St. Louis Jr. Blues (11-11-2-0) with both teams chasing the Rochester Grizzlies and Peoria Mustangs.
With each game being a divisional matchup putting together even a short win streak can mean moving up the standings. A victory not only secures two points, but insures your divisional rival gets zero.
Veteran head coach Don Babineau has seen plenty of ups-and-downs over the years and remains optimistic.
“We have the guys here to make a run,” said Babineau. “It’s a long season and being on the road all the time is tough; but not an excuse. The players need to decide how much they want it.”
With six weeks remaining in the regular season much has yet to be decided. A top four finish – and playoff birth – is within reach, but not decided.
The Tradesmen are back in action tonight in Wausau. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:10 PM streaming live on HockeyTV.