Early last week, the Edmonton Oilers assigned two prospects of note from Oklahoma City to Stockton of the ECHL. One was goaltender Olivier Roy, who was trapped in a three-way battle for playing time with veteran Yann Danis and newcomer Niko Hovinen. The other was defenceman Brandon Davidson, back on the ice after missing most of the early season due to cancer.
Both have impressed early.
Stockton played games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and after losing four in a row won all three. Roy was the starter on Friday and Saturday and he was exceptional, facing a combined 64 shots over the two games and stopping 63 of them. Two games into his ECHL return his stats line reads 2-0-0, 0.49 GAA, 0.984 SV%, 1 SO. Roy was named the second star in both games.
Tyler Bunz, who has been getting lit up in Stockton this season, also played well in the other game, allowing just a single goal on 27 shots against.
Brandon Davidson had looked reasonably effective with the Barons in the early going, but a battle with cancer meant that he only got into six games. When he returned to the lineup on February 8, he had been gone for more than three months and was in a tough situation: Oklahoma has a bunch of defencemen thanks to some veteran additions and understandably Davidson was in a tough spot to get regular playing time.
The Barons played Davidson in two games (he picked up an assist and a plus-2 rating) before sending him down to Stockton. In three games he has three goals (two of them game winners), a plus-2 rating and 10 shots on net. He’s been named the first star in two of the three games he’s played.
“Thank God for both of them”
After the Friday game, head coach Matt Thomas was (understandably) asked about the impact of both Roy and Davidson. His comments:
Well thank god for both of them tonight. Obviously Olivier needed to be very good from the opening shift, and he was very good…
And then, what can you say [about Brandon Davidson]. Just proud of a guy like that, what a story—going through cancer treatment, he’s still bald, hair’s not in from the chemo treatments—to come in and do what he did. It was great. As a team, it was great to be rewarded but what an accomplishment for him. It was nice to be a part of it. I think he had played two games [in OKC]…obviously he got a lot of ice time tonight and that’s the reason he’s down here. They want to get him going. He’s a good player; he’s got offensive instincts, he thinks the game well. I think his timing is still coming back, obviously tonight helped getting in the rhythm… It was nice to see them both contribute, obviously Davidson with the goals.