LLOYDMINSTER, SK (September 10, 2014) – Despite a 42-19 shot margin against them, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (3-0) kept their undefeated start to the 2014-15 season going on Wednesday night, scoring a 2-1 shootout win over the Lloydminster Bobcats (1-0-1) in Saskatchewan.
A fairly evenly played first period saw the Barons outshot by a 10-9 margin, but the only goal of the frame came at the 11:33 mark when the MOB scored its first power play goal of the season. Centre Adam Durkee (Nederland, CO) won a faceoff back to defenceman Brett McNeil (Halifax, NS) at the left point. His pass across the blue line came to Taylor Lileikis (Calgary, AB) at the right point, who fed a pass into the slot that captain Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) immediately deflected into the net for a 1-0 MOB lead and Houcher’s third goal in three games this season.
In the second, despite being outshot 16-6, the Barons held the narrow lead, but could not hold it through a tenuous third period where the team was outshot 14-3.
With 5:42 to go in regulation, a Brett Everson shot deflected in on MOB goaltender Jesse Gordichuk (Penticton, BC), who kicked out his right pad to make the save, but the rebound came to a wide-open Ashton Clark, who found the back of the net to knot the score at 1-1.
The goal was the only blemish on Gordichuk’s night as the MOB goalie saved 41 of 42 shots.
The teams traded odd man rushes in overtime but neither was able to convert, sending the game to the shootout.
The Barons shot first, with captain Houcher denied by Lloydminster goalie Devin Green on a forehand try, while Bobcats forward Lukas Biensch scored on a quick shot between Gordichuk’s pads.
Round two was scoreless for both sides with Mitchell Vanderlaan (Hanwell, NB) of the MOB and Troy Van Tetering of Lloydminster missing.
In the third round, Adam Durkee’s quick snap wrister beat Green to give the MOB a chance, while Chris Seto was stopped on his chance to end the game.
That sent the shootout to a fourth round, where rookie forward Austin Holmes (Calgary, AB) scored on a spectacular top-right corner shot, and Lloydminster captain Linden Springer’s wrister was blockered away by Gordichuk to secure a McMurray win.
The Barons have an off day Thursday to make the trek north west to Grande Prairie, where the team will play two games against the Storm on Friday and Saturday nights, both at 7:30 PM.
The team then returns home to the Casman Centre to take on the Olds Grizzlys on Saturday, September 20th at 8:00 PM. Tickets are available at http://tickets.oilbarons.com