The Fort McMurray Oil Barons went toe-to-toe with the first place Sherwood Park Crusaders Tuesday night at the Casman Centre and for a third time this season lost by one goal to their division rival.
The Crusaders topped the MOB 2-1 as they were backstopped by a 38 save performance from goaltender Matt Berlin.
Tuesday’s game was a fifth straight at home for the MOB (21-14-7) to kick off the new year and they finished their homestand 2-3-0. They’ll now head out on the road for their next six games and play 12 of their final 18 games away from home.
The Crusaders (32-8-2) used an early powerplay to open the scoring when newly acquired Zach Kaiser beat Chris Curr from the right face-off circle. Kaiser was playing in his first game since October 28th and it only took him 2:20 into his first game back to find the back of the net.
The second period started off rough for the MOB as a two-on-one by the Crusaders ended up in the back of their net when Garrett Clegg beat Curr under the arm. Clegg is riding a league high 15 game point streak.
With the Crusaders up 2-0, the tide shifted and the Barons dominated huge chunks of play the rest of the game. They out shot the Crusaders 34-21 through the final 40 minutes but every chance was denied by Berlin.
The Barons finally solved him 1:19 into the third period when Taner Miller’s point shot was deflected in front by Tyson Scott to cut the lead to 2-1. The former Crusader has five goals and ten points in 14 games with the MOB and was playing his first game against his former team. Kole Gable picked up an assist on the goal and extended his point streak to nine games where he has 12 points.
The goal came on the man-advantage as the Barons powerplay continues to be a strong point for the club as they have scored a powerplay goal in eight straight games.
Chris Curr made 29 saves in his return to action after backing up Josh Dias for the last six games.
Next up for the MOB; they will head to Lloydminster on Friday and then play Saturday and Sunday in Bonnyville. You can catch all the action on Country 93.3 with Taylor Pope.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines