FORT MCMURRAY, AB (January 20, 2013) — The Fort McMurray Oil Barons scored three goals in the opening period, and Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) registered a 34-save shutout, in a 4-0 win over the Canmore Eagles at the Casman Centre on Saturday night.
The Barons rebounded in style from a 2-1 loss to the Okotoks Oilers one night prior, with a substantially more physical affair in snapping the Eagles' 8-game winning streak.
Hayden Dawes (Stony Plain, AB) set the tone with the first strong hit of the game just thirty seconds in, and linemate Kevin Miller (Stony Plain, AB) scored the game's opening goal at the 7:16 mark. After being denied on a 2-on-1 rush with Dawes, Miller recollected the puck at the right wing halfboards, curled into the slot, and sent a wrist shot past goaltender Ty Swabb for the eventual game-winning goal.
The Barons doubled their lead at the 16:36 mark when defenceman Matt Purmal (Merrill, WI) chased down a loose puck in Canmore territory, won a battle with an Eagle defender, and put a turnaround shot past Swabb.
In the dying seconds of the third, defenceman Zach Wittenburg (Chestermere, AB) was struck in the face with a puck on a clearing attempt by a teammate, and collapsed to the ice. However, the puck found its way to captain Mike Marianchuk (Innisfail, AB), who carried in on a 2-on-1 rush and fired a wrist shot into the top corner for a 3-0 lead.
Wittenburg was credited with an assist on the play, and returned to the game to start the second period.
The scoring was capped off at the 7:50 mark when defenceman John Teets took a puck at the left point off of a face-off win by Adam Durkee. His wrist shot deflected off of a Canmore defender, then the left post of the Eagles net, and into the back of it for a 4-0 MOB advantage.
Despite the four goals allowed, Swabb stole the show with some highlight-reel stops, including a diving glove save to deny Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) on a shot into a near-empty net.
But Jaillet took top honours among goalies on the night, making several point blank stops in his 34-save performance.
Fort McMurray remains in 6th place in the AJHL North division with the win, and a 23-19-4 record puts them 3 points back of Drayton Valley for fifth.
The Barons hit the road next week for a three-game trip to the aforementioned Drayton Valley for the final game of the season against the Thunder, and Whitecourt for two games against the Wolverines.
It begins Thursday night in D.V. with a 7:30 puck drop. Pre-game coverage starts at 7:15 on Country 93.3.
Country 93.3 3 stars:
3. Zach Wittenburg (1 assist)
2. Tanner Jaillet (34 save shutout)
1. Mike Marianchuk (1 goal, 1 assist)