The Fort McMurray Oil Barons couldn’t get anything going Friday night against the visiting Calgary Canucks. A big crowd of 1,534 in attendance were waiting for something to cheer for all game but were kept quiet as both the MOB (4-3-1) and Canucks (2-5-1) struggled to get much of anything going.
In the end, it would be the Canucks who skated away with the 3-2 victory, handing the Oil Barons their second straight loss.
“I thought it was garbage,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca about his team’s effort in the game. “Right now without looking at the tape, this game was decided in the first period. When you get four powerplay opportunities in the first period and you can’t even get shots on net, let alone goals, us as coaches knew it was going to be an ugly one.”
The Canucks put themselves in penalty trouble in the first period but it seemed the Barons weren’t on the same page and couldn’t generate any sustained pressure or good scoring chances on Canucks goalie Blake Pilon.
The lone goal of the first was created off a Canucks turnover in their own end. Reed Morison picked off a pass and went upstairs in a hurry to pot his 8th of the year to give the MOB a 1-0 lead.
The Canucks came out in the second period and were the better team and capitalized on a couple harmless looking plays. The Canucks just threw pucks towards the MOB goal and twice were able to tap home rebounds as they were able to take a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Goals came from Cameron Pollock-Hughes and Cooper Johnson.
With the MOB trailing late in the third, their defence was active and a bad pinch led to a two-on-one for the Canucks. Max Struss was the recipient off a nice feed from Scott McKenzie to bury his first career AJHL goal to put his team up 3-1 with 4:06 left on the clock.
“You can’t play like that in the North (Division), you can’t play like that against any team in the South (Division) so hopefully this is a learning lesson for us and we can put this one behind us and come out with a better effort on Monday,” said Keca.
The MOB wouldn’t go down quietly as 11 seconds after the goal, Chad MacLean whacked home a rebound off a Taner Miller point shot to cut the lead to one. The goal was MacLean’s first in the AJHL.
That however was as close as the MOB would get. The Barons will look to bounce back Monday afternoon when they welcome the Drayton Valley Thunder to the Casman Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines