Oil Barons Captain Tyler Dea had the first good scoring chance of the game Friday night as the Oil Barons fell 6-1 to the Sherwood Park Crusaders at the Casman Centre.
Dea was fed beautifully on a two-on-one by Connor McCallum, but was unable to find the net, his range-finder a little off.
One of Those Nights
At 7:23 Brett Van Os was gifted a goal thanks to Dea, who sprung the Crusaders forward in on young Eric Szudor with an errant pass in the defensive zone, that seemed to set the script for the rest of the game.
The Oil Barons just couldn’t seem to catch a bounce, a centering feed off the skate of Jordan Steenbergen landed back on the stick of Darcy Zaharichuk alone at the side of the goal for the fifth Crusaders marker.
“They’re a big team and the one thing that they do is they try and walk a lot of seams down low and then they use the net either to crash the net or they use it to create some offense they go in behind net and then throw it to the late guy,” said Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca on the ROCK 97.9 post-game show.
Three Oil Barons hovering around Tyler Maltby couldn’t get a piece of a an incredible feed from Chris McKay across two lines as the power-forward was sprung all alone on Szudor and showed some slick hands.
It was that kind of night.
Sherwood Park also had goals from Ryan Kruper, Devon McAndrews, and Cameron Brezinski.
Positive Play from Torrens, Rauh, and Hodgson
There was some light however for the Oil Barons in the drubbing.
Mitchell Torrens had one of his best games of the season, taking the man and not the puck erasing a number of rushes on his side of the ice, he also laid the body effectively; he’s really come a long way since the start of the season.
Dylan Rauh and Cody Hodgson, both 18-year-old rookies were two of the MOB’s best players, they combined for the Oil Barons’ lone goal as Hodgson fed Rauh in the slot for his fourth of the year.
“These are young kids, they’re going to have to learn quickly here with 19 games left and the one thing we told our guys here is we’re at the point now where there were some changes made and whatever happens, happens but we have to forge an identity and we want to be a team that tries to be relentless, we want to be a team that doesn’t take the easy way out.”
The Oil Barons were outshot 28-22 by the Crusaders, in his first game as the number one goaltender Eric Szudor turned aside 22 of 28 shots faced, but he didn’t have much help at times.
“I thought he was okay,” said Keca about his rookie netminder. “He made some good stops, gave us an opportunity, you know he’s a young goaltender getting thrown in against an offensive team I thought he handled himself actually quite well.”
Zac Klassen wasn’t tested much, allowing a single goal on his 22 shots faced.
Help is on the way however for the MOB, after playing through most of December and early January with just five defenceman since the departure of both Grant Morford and Mark Drohan – it’s expected that Austin Cameron will get to strut his stuff Saturday night.
“Austin is a big defenceman that moves the puck, he’s got a heavy shot, and he’s got decent foot speed,” said Keca about his newest player. “We played with five defenceman [Friday] when you’re against a big physical team sometimes that wears you down. He’s going to be a welcome addition he’s coming in [Saturday] afternoon he’s going to get thrown right into the fire.”
The Oil Barons acquired the 6’1 blue-liner from the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers for a player development fee Friday. Cameron was a member of the 2015 AMHL champion UFA Bisons along with current Oil Barons Will Conley and Shane Fraser.
The Crusaders and Oil Barons meet again Saturday night at the Casman Centre. Puck-drop is scheduled for 8 p.m.; you can catch the pre-game show on ROCK 97.9 starting at 7:45 p.m.
Article courtesy of mymcmurray.com.
Photographer: Dan Lines