The Fort McMurray Oil Barons put forth their best effort of the weekend Sunday afternoon in Sherwood Park but even with a stronger game the MOB were unable to come away with two points.
The Crusaders eked out a 4-3 shootout win courtesy of an Arjun Atwal goal in the third round of the shootout.
“I thought it was an extremely gutsy effort by our players considering the results of the previous two evenings. For us to man up and play the way that we did was very encouraging,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on his team’s effort.
The game was a penalty filled affair with the Crusaders (8-2-2) being handed eight powerplays including one in overtime to the MOB’s (6-4-2) five. A deadly Crusader powerplay kept them in the game as they finished the game 3-8 on the man-advantage.
Carter Savoie would open the scoring in the first period for the Crusaders when he flipped a shot over a sprawled out Chris Curr after the Barons goalie had made two huge saves just before.
The MOB responded with two goals of their own before the period was out to take a 2-1 lead into the break.
The first, a powerplay marker when Konrad Belcourt flew down the right wing and undressed the Crusader defenceman before snapping a shot past Matt Berlin on the blocker side.
“It was a great toe drag and then a quick shot that handcuffs the goaltender there which was great to see,” said Keca of Belcourt’s first goal in a MOB jersey. “He’s just a guy who’s been a great addition to our backend and he has a heavy shot which is going to be good for us on our powerplay because it’ll give us more options and then because of his skating ability and his intelligence, he defends real well.”
The Barons second goal would come after some good work along the boards that wound up with the puck on the stick of Reed Morison. From the right point, Morison’s shot was deflected in front by Kole Gable to give him six goals on the year and goals in back to back games.
A powerplay goal 5:26 into the second period from Garrett Clegg would tie the game 2-2 but the MOB would again respond and take another lead into the intermission.
Liam Izyk’s shot was kicked out by Berlin and ended up going right to Jarred White who blasted home his second goal of the season to put the MOB up 3-2.
White skated on a new line in the game with Liam Izyk at centre and Jack Hamly moving to right wing from his usual centre position. Keca hopes the move will spark some offence throughout his line-up and in Hamly who is without a goal through nine games this season.
“He’s skated miles for us this year and does all the little things, we tried him at wing today because we think him and Liam Izyk are two potential guys who could develop a lot of chemistry together because they both can skate so well,” said Keca of his decision.
With an assist on White’s goal, Izyk now has points in four straight games for the MOB.
The Crusaders would tie the game early in the third period with another powerplay goal from Savoie when he beat Curr upstairs on the short side from the left face-off circle.
In overtime, Curr stopped all four shots fired his way and received some help from his teammates including a big shot block from Hamly while the Oil Barons were short handed. Curr made 41 saves in the loss while Berlin kicked out 36 Oil Barons shots in the win.
Next up for the MOB they will begin a four game homestand beginning Friday and Saturday when the Lloydminster Bobcats come to the Casman Centre. Puck drop for each game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 post-game show.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines