It continues to be an up and down season for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and every time it seems that they are trending in the right direction, we see them fall flat on their faces.
For a third time this season, the MOB lost to the lowly Lloydminster Bobcats (9-35-1) as they dropped a 5-3 decision Friday night to kick-off six straight road games.
“That was unacceptable. I could use a lot of words but that was unacceptable,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca after the loss. “We were way too loose, porous in our own zone, we didn’t compete and we got what we deserved quite frankly.”
The MOB (21-15-7) were coming off two of their best efforts of the season which included a dominating 5-2 win over Drayton Valley on Saturday and a tough 2-1 loss Tuesday to the first place Sherwood Park Crusaders – a game the MOB deserved to win.
“This is what we are all year. We can’t string together three or four good efforts,” said a frustrated Keca. “We talk a good game but the problem is you have to play and show up and be committed to doing the little things and we have guys that are just way too selective.”
Friday night was another game the Oil Barons want to quickly forget. Despite dominating on the shot clock in the first period 19-7, the scoring chances were 5-5 and without some spectacular saves from Chris Curr, the Barons could’ve found themselves in an early hole.
The Barons got into penalty trouble to start the second period and the Bobcats struck 5:33 in when Hunter Lamb beat Curr to open the scoring.
After another Oil Barons penalty, it was the MOB that broke away on the offensive. Taner Miller flicked the puck down the right side boards to Reed Morison. Kole Gable raced up ice to get into the play and Morison feathered a perfect pass to Gable who knocked home his 18th of the year. The shorthanded goal was the third shorthanded goal for the MOB in their last four games.
The MOB took their first lead of the game when Peter Tomaras finished off a nifty passing play between Liam Izyk, Jarred White and himself at 13:50 of the period.
That lead however was short lived as the Bobcats tied the game up 2-2 a mere 18 seconds later when Ty Mosimann’s shot beat Curr under the arm.
Tomaras would restore the Barons lead at 16:52 when he buried his second goal of the game on a MOB powerplay off a great feed from Izyk.
Up a goal heading into the third period, the Barons needed a solid effort to walk away with two points and ended up falling completely flat.
The Bobcats scored 19 seconds into the period and then again 2:41 later to take a 4-3 lead. Logan Bromhead and Jordan Borysiuk were both beneficiaries of Oil Baron turnovers in their own end.
Brayden Berthold put the game out of reach when he scored to make it 5-3. The Oil Barons peppered Bobcats goalie Cale Elder with 43 shots but weren’t able to get another past him.
“The individual stuff is not that important to me. To me it’s the team thing and right now we have a very fragile group in that dressing room,” said Keca.
The Barons will be in tough the rest of the weekend as they head to Bonnyville for a pair of games. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
“As a coaching staff we can tinker with the line-up but at the end of the day when the puck drops the onus is on the players to perform and if they want to compete we’ll be okay, if they want to give an effort like today we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines