They scored the first goal in a game for the very first time this season and were close to knocking off the South Division leading Camrose Kodiaks last night, but alas the MOB fell 5-3.
It was the final game of a three game road swing through Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, and finally Camrose, all undefeated teams expected to contend for division titles this season.
“This one sucks because our guys battled our tails off today, we really did and I’m so proud of the group, it’s our third game in two and a half days and we had every excuse to just roll over and die and we didn’t,” said Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca on the ROCK 97.9 post-game show.
Mark Drohan opened the scoring 6:58 into the first period, the Kodiaks potted two within 12 seconds to take a 2-1 lead just two minutes later off the blades of Angus Scott, and Scott Ferguson.
It was a 3-3 game with just over six minutes to go in the third thanks to Tanner Miller’s first Junior ‘A’ goal, but an ill-advised pinch at the blue-line resulted in Nelson Gaudry’s eventual game winner.
“For whatever reason we’ve got a veteran defenceman, not a young guy, a veteran defenceman who decides to take a chance at the offensive blue line and we give up an odd man rush and now we’re asking a forward to play defence and we get beat,” said Keca. Gaudry would add an empty net marker to cap off an excellent game.
Ravi Dattani was great again, turning aside 32 of 36 shots faced including a few stone cold saves in the first period, while Camrose’s Broden Salmond stopped 28 of 31 shots faced.
Keca will get some help up front after acquiring 1996 born forward Ben Sharf from the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs for future considerations. Sharf joined the team on the bus from Camrose back up to Fort McMurray and will play this weekend. A native of Williamsville, New York, Sharf scored 34 points in 27 games with the Loomis Chaffee School in the USHS.
“He was a heavy recruit out of Chilliwack that maybe wasn’t be able to get the ice-time in a top six role that he wanted,” said Keca about his new centreman. “Real good on draws, competes hard, can skate really well, which is something I feel we need to improve really as a team.”
Sharf played on the Connecticut Wolf Pack team that won the Under-18 Tier 1 Elite championship last year.
“We’re going in the right direction, we’re going to get our bounces we need to tinker with our lineup I still think there are some areas we need to improve on but I’m excited the way this team is taking shape right now.”
The Oil Barons host the Brooks Bandits this Friday followed by the Calgary Mustangs on Saturday. They’ll get some bodies back in the lineup as Logan Franz should be able to play, along with Mitchell Torrens who served the final match of his two game suspension on Sunday.