By Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today
The Fort McMurray Oil Barons offence woke up from their slumber, putting the Spruce Grove Saints on the brink of elimination in the Alberta Junior Hockey League North Division final with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night.
“Just a gutty effort, “ said MOB head coach Gord Thibodeau. “If I had known all it takes for us to play with that type of determination is to go down six players I would’ve done it in September. I can’t say enough about how these guys keep finding ways.”
Both teams came out strong in the first period as they combined for 25 shots in the frame. Both goaltenders stood tall though as Oil Barons goaltender Tanner Jaillet made 13 saves while Kenny Cameron made 12 at the opposite end of the ice for the Saints.
Things started to heat up offensively as the Oil Barons scored three goals in the second period. Ryan Bloom took the feed from behind the net out front in the slot, burying his second goal in as many games to put the Oil Barons up by one.
Jarid Hauptman scored for the Saints 89 seconds later to tie the game up. The tie would be short-lived as Mitchell Byrne came in on a partial break just 39 seconds later and restored the Oil Barons’ one goal lead.
Mitchell Vanderlaan completed the three-goal effort less than two minutes later to put the MOB up 3-1 after forty minutes.
Tristan Sieben scored for the Saints in the third to cut the lead to one but it wasn’t enough as the Oil Barons held on for the victory.
Jaillet ended up with 28 saves on the night while Cameron posted 23 saves in the loss.
The series now shifts back to Spruce Grove for game five of the series on Friday night as the Oil Barons look to eliminate the Saints from the playoffs and claim their second North Division title in three years. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Grant Fuhr Arena.
Photo credit: Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today