OKOTOKS, AB (August 29, 2014) – The Fort McMurray Oil Barons rebounded from two separate two-goal deficits en route to a 5-4 pre-season win over the Brooks Bandits in Okotoks on Friday afternoon.
With the win, the Barons improved their exhibition record to 3-1, and registered the franchise’s first win over Brooks in nearly 900 days.
Corey Caruso and Jeff Malott gave the Bandits an early 2-0 cushion on goals scored from close range on MOB netminder Zach Fortin (St. Jerome, PQ). But rookie defenceman Mark Drohan (Calgary, AB) scored for his second straight game on a rebound to get the MOB back on the board with less than two minutes to go in the opening frame.
Less than a minute later, however, the Bandits struck on the rush with a wrist shot from the left-wing circle that trickled past Fortin for a 3-1 Brooks advantage through the opening 20 minutes.
The final 40 would belong to the Barons, however. The MOB outshot the Bandits 10-8 in the middle frame and scored twice, with defenceman Taylor Lileikis (Calgary, AB) firing a wrist shot that was tipped in by Shawn Weber (Lloydminster, AB) to bring the team within one. Later in the middle stanza, veteran Adam Durkee (Nederland, CO) backhanded a puck from close range past goalie Michael Frederick to knot the game up 3-3.
In the third, Mitch Vanderlaan (Hanwell, NB) forced a turnover at neutral ice, skated in on a breakaway, and scored just 11 seconds in to give the MOB its first lead of the game. While the Bandits finally converted on a 5-minute major power play later in the period to tie it 4-4, the Barons responded on a power play of their own when Jackson McKinstry scored with a wrist shot from the right-wing circle for a 5-4 advantage that Fort McMurray was able to hold onto down the stretch.
Fortin made 42 saves in the victory, and will give way to rookie Michael Barabash who will start for the MOB’s pre-season ending affair with the Drumheller Dragons tomorrow afternoon at 2:45 PM.
Live updates will be provided on the team’s official Twitter account, @MOBHockey.