WHITECOURT, AB (February 15, 2013) — Mike Marianchuk (Innisfail, AB) scored his 100th career junior A point – a third-period goal that stood up as the winner – as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons downed the Whitecourt Wolverines 3-1 on the road Friday night.
It was the third win in as many games in Whitecourt for the MOB, who finish the season series against the Wolverines 4-2, and jump into third place in the AJHL North with the win.
Despite an official first-period shot count of 13-6 in favour of Whitecourt, it was the visitors opening the scoring when Parker Evans-Campbell (High River, AB) forced a turnover in the offensive zone, and sent a cross-ice pass to Adam Durkee (Lafayette, CO), whose long wrist shot beat goaltender Anthony Terenzio to open the scoring.
The Wolverines tied the game up with just over 2 minutes left in the opening frame when MOB goalie Ethan Wood deflected a shot from Mathieu Guertin with his glove, but it bounced to a wide-open Jess Tanguy, whose turnaround shot from the goal line beat Wood to knot the game at 1-1.
It remained that way through the second period despite the Wolverines again outshooting the Barons, this time 13-7. Wood ended up making a multitude of point-blank saves to keep the MOB in it and force the best power-play in the North division to go 0-for-5.
The third period belonged to the Barons, however, as a tenacious forecheck by Kyle Campbell (Fort McMurray, AB) and Scott Pooley (Granger, IN) produced a loose puck in front of the Whitecourt net that was chipped in by Marianchuk.
The only save on the play was by the MOB bench, which held onto the puck.
A few minutes later, Hayden Dawes (Stony Plain, AB) forced another turnover at the Whitecourt blue line, skated to the left-wing face-off circle, then dropped a pass back to linemate Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) in the slot.
He wired a wrist shot off the crossbar and in to give the Barons a vital 2-goal lead – and did it all on his 19th birthday.
Whitecourt started putting pressure on in the dying minutes, but bizarrely took two horribly undisciplined after-whistle penalties from Jess Tanguy and Charles Inglis to give the Barons a 5-on-3 advantage to end the game.
The Barons didn't convert, though, and went 0-for-7 on the powerplay for the night.
With the win, the Barons move a point ahead of Whitecourt and Grande Prairie – though the Storm have two games in hand on the Barons. Those two teams take to the ice at the Canada Games Arena in G.P. both tomorrow night and Sunday night.
Puck drop for both games is at 7:30 with pre-game coverage starting at 7:15 on Country 93.3.
Country 93.3 3 stars:
3. Jetlan Houcher (1 goal)
2. Ethan Wood (1 goal allowed)
1. Mike Marianchuk (1 game-winning goal)