Riding a three game winning streak, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons headed to Calgary Friday night to take on the Canucks. The MOB threw everything they had at Canucks goalie Blake Pilon but were only able to beat him once as the Canucks shocked the Barons with a 2-1 win.
For a second time this season, the MOB (25-18-8) heavily outshot the Canucks (8-43-1) but lost by a single goal and were swept in the season series. The Barons have struggled all season against the South Division compiling a 4-9-3 record.
The ice was titled all game in this one as the Barons dominated the play but could not find the back of the net when they needed to. The MOB outshot the Canucks 45-18 in the game.
After a scoreless first period, the Canucks caught a break early in the second when Zach Bokenfohr’s pass hit the Barons defenceman in the leg and deflected in between the legs of Chris Curr to open the scoring 1:24 into the middle frame.
The Barons created chances, the best when Kole Gable deflected a point shot that clanked off the crossbar and out.
The Barons finally broke through when Ryan Conroy forced Pilon well out of his goal as he circled the net. Conroy spotted Jarred White in front and White buried the tying goal into an open cage to give him goals in back to back games.
The third period was more of the same, the MOB dominating possession and stretches of play but not able to score. Reed Morison missed a breakaway opportunity as did Liam Izyk.
The Canucks iced the puck continually to try and relieve the pressure. They waited for their lone opportunity which came at 10:34 when Justin Giacomin picked off a pass and skated in and ripped a shot off the crossbar and in past Curr to give the Canucks their second lead of the game.
The Barons couldn’t claw their way back while the Canucks survived and picked up a huge two points to put them four points up on Olds for the final playoff spot in the South Division.
The Barons continue their road trip Saturday night when they visit the CJHL’s top ranked team the Brooks Bandits (48-3-0). The Bandits have a chance to break the AJHL’s record for the longest winning streak with a win over the Barons having won 24 games in a row. Pre-game show is at 6:45 p.m. on Country 93.3.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines