BONNYVILLE, AB (October 7, 2012) — Harry Hendrix (Calgary, AB) capped off a five-point weekend with the game-winner on Sunday afternoon, as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (4-6-1) took down the first-place Bonnyville Pontiacs (8-2-2) 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at the RJ Lalonde Arena.
A scoreless first period saw the visitors outshot 11-4, but goaltender Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) kept them in it.
The second belonged to the MOB, and especially the newly formed line of Hendrix, Kevin Lacroix (St. Albert, AB) and Justin Fraser (Hussar, AB), as the Barons outshot Bonnyville 14-6 and scored all three of their goals.
Danny Gayle scored his second goal of the year on a one-timer in front of the Pontiac net, beating backup goaltender Tyler Santos 1:45 into the frame.
At the 11:13 mark, Lacroix backhanded a pass in front, from behind the net, to a waiting Fraser, who jammed it past Santos to double the lead.
For Fraser, it extended his goal scoring streak to three games.
The Pontiacs earned one back after Tanner Dusyk capitalized on a MOB powerplay turnover at the Bonnyville blue-line, streaking in 1-on-1 and firing a shot past Jaillet to cut the score to 2-1 at the 13:53 mark.
But just over a minute later, Hendrix found a loose puck at the side of the Pontiac net and fired it through a crowd in front for the eventual game-winner.
Luke Mahura brought the Pontiacs one goal closer with a sharp-angle wrister at 10:56 of the third period.
The Barons missed two chances at an empty Pontiac net, allowing the home side a fantastic late-game chance to tie it up.
Despite the Barons being on a power play, Bonnyville was able to find forward Jackson Dudley alone in the slot for a one-timer that would have knotted the game at 3-3, if not for a fantastic quick-reaction save by Jaillet.
“I was absolutely speechless,” said Hendrix of the late save by his goalie. “That's the save of the year right there. I couldn't believe it.”
Hendrix's two-point night earned him his second consecutive first-star honours. He was quick to share credit with his new linemates, however, and he isn't surprised by how quickly they've gelled.
“We're just three guys that like to get to the greasy areas,” he said.
Despite the high-scoring weekend, Hendrix said he didn't make points his main concern.
“In my head, it was more of a team worry,” he said of the team's losing streak heading into Sunday. “I knew that personally the offence would come, and I'm glad that it finally did this weekend, and obviously the win today, that caps off an okay weekend.”
Despite the “okay” label, the alternate captain was quick to agree that all three games were winnable.
“We just need to figure out how to play a 60 minute game,” Hendrix added. “That's been one of our problems all year is our consistency. We've been putting together 45, 50 minutes, but that 60 minute game is what we're looking for, and it's something we're going to have to improve on.”
The MOB returns home Tuesday night against the Spruce Grove Saints (6-4-1), in a rematch of last year's AJHL North division final.
Puck drop is at 7:30 with radio pre-game coverage at 7:15 on Country 93.3.
Country 93.3 3 stars:
3. Tanner Dusyk (1 shorthanded goal)
2. Tanner Jailet (21 saves/23 shots)
1. Harry Hendrix (1 game-winning goal, 1 assist)