SHERWOOD PARK, AB (December 5, 2012) — John Teets (Fairbanks, AK) scored his first junior A goal to give the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (15-14-3) a 1-0 lead, but it didn't hold up, as two third period goals gave the Sherwood Park Crusaders a 2-1 win over the Barons on Wednesday night.
It snapped the MOB's two-game winning streak and relegated them back to seventh place in the AJHL North, one point back of the Crusaders.
“I thought we played pretty well; I thought we competed all night,” said head coach Gord Thibodeau. “I was very pleased with the effort.”
The game was a stalemate through 20 minutes with an 11-8 shot lead for the MOB after one.
In the second, a rare powerplay road goal provided the scoring breakthrough, as Scott Pooley (Granger, IN) fed a pass from the right side of the net to Teets at the left-wing face off circle, who shot a wrister past Crusader goalie Matt Tomkins for his first goal at the junior A level.
“We had some pucks to bury to make the game two-nothing,” recalled the head coach. “Kyle Campbell and [Parker] Evans-Campbell both had rebounds that, if they could've gotten the puck upstairs, they might've made a difference.”
But the third period belonged to Sherwood Park despite a 15-12 MOB shot lead.
First, Nicholas Jones feathered a pass in front from the end boards, to Sean MacTavish at the top of the crease, who one-timed it past Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) at the 12:07 mark.
At 15:58, the Barons allowed a 2-on-1 rush to the Crusaders, and defenceman Mike Berry fed a pass across to Stefan Bazar along the left wing, who chipped it past Jaillet for the 2-1 lead.
“Bottom line, we made a couple of rookie mistakes that ended up in our net,” said Thibodeau. “It's a hard-fought game; it's a tough one to lose, but it's another example that you can't turn the puck over in bad areas, and we did that tonight a couple of times.”
Jaillet was nonetheless brilliant, making several spectacular stops in a 26-save performance, including stopping Crusader leading scorer Garth Wallin on a third period breakaway.
The Barons return to action at home this weekend hosting the Lloydminster Bobcats on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
“They're big games,” said Thibodeau. “You look at the standings, obviously anytime you can get victories on teams that are below you, that's huge. With tonight's good effort, we want to carry that forward, and we need the four points this weekend.”
Game time Saturday is 8pm with pre-game coverage at 7:45 on Country 93.3; Sunday's game goes at 2pm and will feature a Skate with Santa afterwards.
Country 93.3 3 stars:
3. Tanner Jaillet (26 saves, 28 shots)
2. Sean MacTavish (1 goal)
1. Matt Tomkins (34 saves, 35 shots)