The Brooks Bandits put an end to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons historic 23-game season opening win streak, beating the MOB 3-2 Friday night at the Casman Centre.
“I didn't think we played very well in the first; I thought we looked nervous, we looked tight, we didn't want the puck,” said Barons head coach and general manager Gord Thibodeau. “I thought we played real well in the second and third. But you know what? We made two defensive turnovers – Saulnier twice at our blueline – ended up costing us and we didn't get a lot of offensive production. We had 17 scoring chances, you've got to finish a few more opportunities.”
The Bandits got on the board twice in the first period, with Eric Chevrier beating Tanner Jaillet at 3:19 of the first and Alex Roberts burying a pass from Anthony Paskaruk just past the 13 minute mark. The Barons had lots of chances in the opening frame, but wouldn't get on the board until the second period.
At 11:13 of the second, Danton Ayotte would score his 16th goal of the season, bringing the MOB within one. Despite the Barons outshooting the Bandits 32-15 through 40 minutes, Brooks would take their lead into the third. The Bandits would extend their lead at 6:32 of the third period, with Austin Plevy getting one in past Jaillet. The Barons would get within one with 6:22 to go, after Adam Wilcox's turnaround shot beating Bandits goalie Michael Fredrick. Despite a lot of pressure from the Barons in the final minutes, the Bandits would hold their lead and hand the Barons their first loss at the Casman Centre this season.
The Oil Barons will be back at it Saturday night as they host the Calgary Mustangs at the Casman Centre. Puck drop is at 8p.m.
Photo credit /with files from: Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today