The Fort McMurray Oil Barons held a 2-1 lead heading into the second period after playing one of their best 20 minute chunks of hockey this season over the south division leading Okotoks Oilers, but another 20 minute effort led to an eventual 5-2 loss.
The Oilers opened the scoring just 1:27 into the first as Connor Chambers took advantage of a turnover in the MOB end and blasted the puck past Ravi Dattani, but then Mark Drohan goal and a Landon Welykholowa power-play marker gave the Oil Barons the lead with just 1:56 remaining in the first.
But following the first period the Oil Barons got away from the game plan. “It’s been a little bit like groundhog day, it’s been the same mistakes costing us over and over that are costing us the game, it’s not getting pucks in, it’s not getting pucks on the net, it’s not keeping it simple, it’s not chipping pucks,” said Assistant Coach Mike Brodeur on the ROCK 97.9 post-game show.
Okotoks would regain the lead scoring another from the Captain Connor Chambers for his second of the night at 8:47, 16-year-old Braydon Jenkins can thank Ravi Dattani for his first ever Junior ‘A’ marker as Dattani fumbled the puck on the Oilers’ third goal.
Then as it has been all year the roof collapsed early in the third period as the Keillan Olson put a dagger in the heart of the Oil Barons just 16 seconds into the frame giving Okotoks a 4-2 lead.
“It really did deflate us [Olson’s goal], it’s not the one you want to give up especially early in the period killing a penalty and only three seconds left you want to come out hard and set the tone for the period and that one really does deflate the team,” said Assistant Coach Mike Brodeur on the ROCK 97.9 post game show.
Again the Oil Barons had a hard time breaking out and getting anything going in transition, clean feeds from the defence have been hard to come by for the Oil Barons forwards and when they do receive one getting through the neutral zone has been another challenge at times.
“Those breakouts have been tough for our guys, you see it in flashes where we do make good plays and we’re crisp and we’re clean but it doesn’t happen consistently enough.”
Okotoks outshot the Oil Barons 43-33 as Ravi Dattani stopped 38 of 43 shots faced, Brian Wilson turned aside 31 of 33 shots fired his way for his first AJHL win after being acquired from Kanata of the CCHL where he was 0-7 to start the year.
“Our first period was great, we kept it simple and we played the way we should play. Simple hockey, chip pucks, pucks on net, guys driving the net, rewarding those guys for going to the tough areas then we kind of fell off. We didn’t get pucks in, we started making fancy plays we started making cross ice plays that weren’t there,” said Brodeur.
The Oil Barons play the second of three games on this south division road swing tonight, Oct.16, against the Drumheller Dragons at 7:30 p.m. You can catch the live broadcast on ROCK 97.9.
Article courtesy of mymcmurray.com.