The Fort McMurray Oil Barons find themselves in their longest losing streak in three seasons after a 2-1 loss to the Whitecourt Wolverines Friday night extending their skid to five games.
For a second night in a row, the MOB (39-13-5) out shot their opponent, peppering Xavier Potvin but their offence was shut down by a hot goaltender. Potvin made 36 saves in the win as the MOB lost a one goal game for the fourth time in their last five games.
“I thought that we played real well, we got the effort that we wanted,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca. “Yesterday was the same thing, I don’t think the effort was outstanding but I don’t think it was bad and I thought today was a lot better. Playoff type atmosphere, 2-1 tight game and first team to kind of flinch is going to make a mistake.”
The Oil Barons were the team that made the biggest mistake of the night as a cross ice pass at their own blue line on a powerplay was picked off by Yannik Bertrand and the Wolverines (33-18-6) would score shorthanded. Bertrand fed Jaedon Leslie who had an empty net to shoot at burying his 14th of the season. The goal put the Wolverines up 2-0 just past the mid-way point of the second period.
The shorthanded goal was just the third allowed by the MOB all season, the lowest in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The goal however didn’t deflate the Barons as they would answer 16 seconds later on the same powerplay.
A dump in deflected off the end glass and popped into the slot in front of the Wolverines goal. The puck came to Domenico Argento at the left point and he ripped a shot past Potvin who never fully got set after coming out to play the puck. The goal was Argento’s fourth of the year.
“We just have to tweak a couple things but this was a playoff type atmosphere and you sort of appreciate that because really when you look at it, these two teams have nothing to play for. We’re going to finish second and they’re going to finish third so for us it’s about getting out of this funk and the losing streak continues which you obviously don’t like as a coaching staff but the effort was much better,” said Keca whose team is 0-3-2 in their last five games.
Spencer Bast got the Wolverines first goal 3:09 into the game beating Chris Curr over the left pad after a pass from Matthew Monk. Curr made 26 saves in the loss.
The Barons and Wolverines will get to know each other quite well over the next two weekends as they play each other four times. Game two of four goes Saturday night in Whitecourt. Pre-game show at 7:15 p.m. on Country 93.3 with Taylor Pope.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com.
Photo by: Dan Lines
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