Barons sneak by Olds in shootout 4-3 to boost record to 14-0

OLDS, AB (October 12, 2013) — Colten Meaver (Edmonton, AB) scored in the fourth round of the shootout, and linemates Kevin Miller (Stony Plain, AB), Ryan Bloom (Calgary, AB), and Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) each registered a two-point night, as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (14-0) extended their franchise record for consecutive wins to start a season with a 4-3 shootout win in Olds against the Grizzlys on Saturday night.

Despite a late third period lead of 3-1, two consecutive goals by Olds forced the extra frame, where the Barons came out on top.

The MOB opened the scoring 7:29 in when Miller carried into the offensive zone and fed a pass to the right wing to Bloom. Instead of taking the shot, Bloom hesitated, drew the defence away from Miller, and returned the puck to the second-year forward for a tap-in goal to open the scoring.

But at 11:07, on the Grizzlys' only power-play of the night, leading scorer Spencer Dorowicz was found alone at the top of the McMurray crease, jamming a backhand shot past goaltender Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) to tie the game.

For the MOB, the goal ended a shutout streak of more than 140 minutes which dated back to the third period of last Friday's 6-4 win over Drayton Valley.

Before the opening frame was out, however, the Barons reclaimed the narrow lead, when a pass into the Olds slot by Miller was corraled by Houcher, who evaded the sticks of two Grizzly defenders and lifted a backhand shot past Ethan Jemieff to make it 2-1 on the power play.

In the second period, the Barons maintained the lead while outshooting Olds 10-2, but could not extend it, setting up a nailbiting third period in which the Grizzlys took the shot advantage 21-9.

It was Fort McMurray, however, that scored first in the final frame, when Houcher and Bloom carried in on a two-on-one, with Houcher feeding the perfect cross-ice pass to his linemate for a one-time goal and a 3-1 lead.

But in the final eight minutes, things collapsed for the MOB. First, Dorowicz converted on a net front rebound at 13:07 to bring the Grizzlys back within 1. Then, with the Grizzly net empty and a 6-on-5 advantage, a long point shot by Taylor Bilyk was tipped past Jaillet by Dorowicz for a hat trick goal and a 3-3 tie with just 34 seconds left in the game. 

Both goaltenders stood tall in overtime, setting up a three-man shootout. First, Ryan Bloom converted on a forehand-to-backhand move to put the MOB up early, while Tanner Jaillet made a pad save on BJ Duffin. Jemieff then poke checked Kevin Miller's shot attempt away, setting up Ty Mappin, whose shot was also stopped. With a chance to win, captain Jetlan Houcher had the puck slide off the end of his stick on a backhand try, and then in a must-score situation, Christopher Gerrie fired a puck betwen Jaillet's pads to send the shootout to sudden death.

It would require only one extra round, as Meaver converted on a backhander of his own to put the MOB ahead, and Kyle Star's wrist shot wide of the net gave the Barons the heart-stopping 4-3 win and their 14th straight.

The MOB will now deal with the challenge of short rest, with a matinee affair against the Spruce Grove Saints scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 2pm at the Grant Fuhr Arena to cap off the road trip.

Pre-game coverage begins at 1:45 on Country 93.3.

Country 93.3 3 stars:
1. Spencer Dorowicz (3 goals)
2. Ryan Bloom (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Jetlan Houcher (1 goal , 1 assist)