Marianchuk’s OT winner sneaks MOB past Thunder 3-2 (AUDIO)

DRAYTON VALLEY (Sep. 21, 2012) — Mike Marianchuk (Innisfail, AB) received an unexpected pass from sniper Kevin Lacroix (St. Albert, AB) on an overtime 2-on-1 rush, but made no mistake in giving the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (2-2) their first road win of the season on Friday night.

“I just saw Kevin down low win that battle, and I know that Kevin has a lot of speed,” Marianchuk recounted. “Kevin actually beat me up ice, so I thought he was going to shoot, and I guess he opened up and fed me in the slot.”

It was the first goal of the year for Marianchuk and his second overtime winner with the MOB; he gave the Barons a road win in Lloydminster last year with an extra frame marker.

The overtime was necessitated after Drayton Valley came back from a 2-0 deficit after one period.

The opening 20 were dominated by MOB newcomer Danny Gayle (Calgary, AB), who scored the first goal of the game, and his first as a Baron, off a wrist shot from the slot, then set up Harry Hendrix (Calgary, AB) for a late power-play goal to double the lead.

It was all the Barons would muster in regulation, however, as Drayton Valley scored in each of the next two periods off the sticks of Neil Tarnasky and Luke Madill on the powerplay to send the game to overtime.

In all, the Barons were outshot for the first time this season, but narrowly, 30-29. Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) stopped 28 of the 30 shots against him for his first win of the year.

The bad blood between the two teams that became evident at the Casman Centre at the year's start continued in the first matchup at the Drayton Valley Omniplex.

Harry Hendrix and Mason Malkowich got into a fairly one-sided fight in favour of the MOB forward only 5 seconds into the third period.

Later in that frame, D.V. forward Nathan Smith sucker-punched and tackled rookie Barons defenceman Joey Stadnicki after the latter had taken a checking from behind penalty. Both received five minute majors; Stadnicki was ejected for the check while Smith only received a 10-minute misconduct as a result of an instigating minor.

Both Lacroix and Scott Pooley (Granger, IN) had goals waved off by referee James Sharun; the former because of a quick whistle, the latter when the officials ruled the puck had not crossed the goal line.

The same two teams are back in action for a Saturday night battle in Drayton at 7:30 PM.

“There's a lot of improvements that we need in our game,” Marianchuk admitted. “We've got to be a little smarter in our plays and our decision-making. But other than that, it's going to come with every game we play, so we're looking forward to improving.”

Pre-game coverage starts at 7:15 on the Oil Barons' official broadcaster, Country 93.3.

Country 93.3 3 stars:

3. Mitch Maraschiello, DV (26 saves on 29 shots)

2. Mike Marianchuk (1 overtime goal)

1. Danny Gayle (1 goal, 1 assist)

QUICK FACTS: With two assists on the night, D Zach Wittenburg now leads all rookies in the AJHL in points per game with 4 in 3 games …… F Danny Gayle now has 3 goals and 5 assists in just 6 career games against Drayton Valley …… Marianchuk's OT winner was his fifth career goal against the Thunder.