Uncharacteristic by the 2017-18 Fort McMurray Oil Barons but they found a way to lose Sunday afternoon in Spruce Grove as the Saints took down the North Division leading Barons 3-2.
The Saints (14-5-1) scored all three of their goals in the 3rd period including the game winner with 1.7 seconds left on the clock as the puck deflected off Logan Ganie and into the net.
“We had a defenceman that had clear possession of the puck with six seconds left in the slot and could’ve easily shot it out off the glass but decided to push it to the corner, got out worked and they threw the puck to the net and good things happen when you put the puck to the net,” said MOB head coach Tom Keca of the winning goal.
The loss was just the second on the road for the Oil Barons (16-3-1) this season but was also their second against the rival Saints.
The MOB had a strong first period, opening the scoring after they were able to hem the Saints in their own end. The puck came to Taner Miller at the right point and his shot was deflected by Owen Reith in the slot and past Saints goalie Parker Tobin for his 4th of the year.
The game would stay 1-0 MOB until just past the mid-way point of the third period when Sean Comrie sent a shot on goal from the right point that beat a screened Eric Szudor to tie the game.
The goal seemed to inject some life back into the Oil Barons as they had been sitting back defending early in the period. Shane Fraser crossed the Saints blueline and passed to Will Conley who flew towards the Saints goal and beat Tobin up high for his league leading 17th goal of the season. The goal came 51 seconds after Comrie had tied the game and restored the MOB’s lead.
The Barons would again try to hold the lead but the Saints kept coming in droves and would tie the game 2-2 when Austin Parmiter fed Garan Magnes on the far post with 2:18 left on the clock.
“I felt that we tried to defend and bunker up and they just kept coming at us and when you play with fire you’re eventually going to get burnt,” said Keca. “I thought that we were way too soft on pucks in the neutral zone, we gave up way too many odd man rushes and they’re a team if you allow them to skate and attack you with speed, you’re going to be in trouble.”
The two teams seemed destined for overtime until Ganie’s goal gave the Saints the win.
“When it’s a 2-1 game, I think that you should be able to close it out no matter what stage of a weekend road trip you’re in and we just weren’t able to do that today,” said Keca.
The MOB will return home Friday and Saturday after playing six straight on the road. The Oil Barons will be wearing commemorative jerseys in honour of Remembrance Day for their games against the Calgary Canucks and Canmore Eagles. You are able to bid on the jerseys with proceeds going to the Royal Canadian Legion.
MOB head coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 Post-Game Show.