AJHL Showcase Recap

The Oil Barons dropped both their contests at the AJHL Showcase, seeing their record fall to 2-5-0-0 on the season.

Despite a strong showing Friday against Camrose, the Kodiaks blanked the Oil Barons 1-0 thanks to a 30 save performance by Liam Bechthold. Noah Nelson was strong in net for Fort McMurray stopping 28 of 29 shots, while Rhett Miller scored the lone marker late in the second period. The MOB had several chances to tie the game, however, Bechthold made several highlight reel saves, and when he wasn’t stopping the puck, his goalposts were.

Saturday saw the Oil Barons fall 5-3 at the hands of the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Diego Johnson opened the scoring with the lone marker in the first 20 minutes of play. The University of Wisconsin commit finished off a 2-on-1 feed from Cole Barrett for Johnson’s first career AJHL goal. The Crusaders made it 2-0 on a power-play goal in the second period. Cade Christenson charged end to end, finishing his rush by sliding the puck under Gabe Gratton. However, the Oil Barons struck back. Ethan Sundar got his first goal as an Oil Baron, after a Ryan Arnold shot was blocked, before Sundar gloved down the loose puck and zipped it home, cutting the Sherwood Park lead in half. Fort McMurray tied the game at two before the end of the second. Nik Hoogendoorn forced the turnover, danced around a defender, before going top shelf on Erick Roest for his second goal of the season. The Crusaders restored their lead early in the third period when Barrett rifled a shot past Gratton. Then Noah Wills made it 4-2 Sherwood Park, when his pass deflected off the stick of Simon Diaz and through the wickets of Gratton. Fort McMurray made the game interesting towards the end. On their seventh power-play of the afternoon, Sundar’s shot was partially stopped by Roest, before Ryan Arnold knocked home the loose disc, making it a 4-3 game. However, all hopes of a comeback were erased after an empty net goal from Dominic Payne.

The Oil Barons are back in action on Thursday and Friday night when they host the Sherwood Park Crusaders for their second and third straight showdowns. Both games start at 7:30pm at Centerfire Place.