Barons blank Crusaders

Following a tough luck loss on Friday, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons earned a little redemption Saturday night with a 3-0 win over the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Goaltender Jesse Gordichuk made 23 saves to earn his fourth shutout of the season and forward Brennan Saulnier had two assists, extending his point streak to five games.

“The effort was better, intelligence was better, finish though, it wasn't where it needs to be,” said Oil Barons head coach and general manager Gord Thibodeau. “Obviously there are deficits in our game right now. You know what? You don't have a lot of time, they've got to be cleared up.”

After a scoreless first period, the MOB would take control in the second period with all of the Barons' goals coming in a 141-second span. Saulnier would feed Adam Durkee who made no mistake, putting the MOB up 1-0 at 8:45 of the middle frame. 29 seconds later, a flukey shot from Adam Cromwell would fool Cru netminder Tommy Nixon and double the Barons lead. Less than two minutes later, at 11:06 Ryan Bloom would tuck one past Nixon to put the Oil Barons up 3-0, which would be the final score.

“We usually generate a lot of scoring chances and sometimes they don't go in, sometimes they do, but we were patient tonight,” said Saulnier.

Gordichuk wasn't challenged as much as Cru netminder Nixon, but he was solid when tested and bailed  the MOB out from a couple of defensive breakdowns.

“We didn't give him a lot of work in the first two periods, but when he needed to be, he was there,” said Thibodeau. “He just played like he's played all year. He's given us a chance to win every night he's played.”

The Oil Barons hit the road for Bonnyville this Wednesday, for a 7 p.m. against the Pontiacs. The MOB's next home game is Feb. 22 against the Spruce Grove Saints.



Photo credit: Robert Murray/ Fort McMurray Today