DRUMHELLER, AB (October 10, 2014) – The Fort McMurray Oil Barons (8-5-1) held leads of 2-0, 3-2, and 4-3 on Friday night, but fell 5-4 in overtime on Ethan James’ extra frame goal, as the Drumheller Dragons came back to take the extra point.
“I think it was just more of the same,” said Barons head coach and GM Curtis Hunt. “We’re doing things better, giving up less shots; we had a great seven minutes, and then the whole mentality changed.”
The MOB got off to one of its best starts of the season, outshooting Drumheller 7-3 and taking an early 2-0 lead. First, Mike Sauer (Bemidji, MN) jammed home a rebound opportunity just over 5 minutes in to make it 1-0, and Mitch Vanderlaan (Hanwell, NB) was set up at the top of the crease with a perfect centring pass by Adam Durkee (Nederland, CO) to make it 2-0 just under six minutes later.
But after that McMurray flurry, the Dragons outshot the Barons 12-1 and tied the game on two consecutive goals of their own.
Ethan James scored a power play goal on a cross-crease pass at 13:45, and Ryan Jevne scored his first of the season to tie it up at 16:27.
“We stopped working, we stopped playing together,” said Hunt. “We went in five different directions, and you see what happens.”
In the second, the Barons retook the lead when Trent Lofthouse (Surrey, BC) beat goaltender Jonny Hogue from close range to make it 3-2. Drumheller head coach Brian Curran pulled Hogue after that goal, replacing him with that night’s backup, Curtis Skip. In the final minute of the second, Mitch Cook beat Barons goalie Zach Fortin (St. Jerome, PQ) after winning a battle in the slot, and the game was knotted at 3-3 after two.
The MOB converted on a power play just 3:26 into the third when rookie Jackson McKinstry (Calgary, AB) deflected a Salvatore Scalise (Calgary, AB) point shot, to make it 4-3. But the Dragons came back for the third time on the night on a powerplay of their own, just four seconds after a Drake Longaker (San Jose, CA) blow to the head minor, when Jevne scored his second of the night tipping a Connor Duncan point shot past Fortin.
The game headed to overtime, where after Barons captain Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) was denied on a breakaway, Ethan James beat a McMurray defender at the right-wing faceoff circle, cut in front, and lifted a shot over a downed Fortin to end the game in dramatic fashion for the home side, who had never led until that point.
“As much as you praise leadership, this is where our leadership needs to step up in our room and make these things go away,” added Hunt.
The Barons take on the Canmore Eagles tomorrow night at 7 PM at the Canmore Recreation Centre. Pre-game coverage on KAOS 91.1 begins at 6:45.
KAOS 91.1 3 stars:
1. Ethan James (2 goals)
2. Ryan Jevne (2 goals)
3. Zach Wittenburg (2 assists)