After seeing their one goal lead evaporate with two quick strikes from the Grande Prairie Storm, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons erupted for three unanswered goals in a wild third period to take down the Storm 4-2 in Game 3 of their first round series.
The MOB now lead the best-of-five series two games to one with a chance to close out the series Monday night at Revolution Place.
After the Oil Barons tied the series Saturday night at home with a thrilling overtime win, the series shifted to Grande Prairie for Game 3.
The two teams traded chances in the first period with both Chris Curr and Kaedon Lane making two big saves each to keep the game scoreless through one period.
The Oil Barons were able to jump on the Storm early in the second period when Taner Miller sprung Kole Gable up the middle of the ice. Gable spit the Storm defence and fired a shot on goal. Lane made the save but the rebound popped right back out to Gable who was able to bury his first goal of the series and give the MOB a 1-0 lead 1:08 into the frame.
The Barons were able to hold on to their lead until the Storm struck twice in a 1:18 span near the middle of the third period. Zach Okabe whacked in a rebound and then Vincent Milot-Ouellet wired a one-timer over the shoulder of Curr to give the Storm the 2-1 lead.
After a defensive battle for 48 minutes, the flood gates had opened. The Barons roared back and struck 19 seconds after the Storm’s second goal to tie the game 2-2. Chad MacLean won a face-off to Tyson Scott who walked off the boards and fired a shot that kicked off the pad of Lane and right to Tyler Maser who hammered home his first goal of the series and third goal in his last six games.
“They get two and then we get a huge answer back and it’s one of those unsung heroes for us,”said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on Maser. “I think that Tyler Maser has had an outstanding playoffs and as a coach, I probably have to do a better job of getting him on the ice a little bit more.”
The Barons kept coming and scored again 43 seconds later when Jaedon Leslie snapped a shot through the five-hole of Lane from the high slot after receiving a pass from Jarred White who now has a point in nine of his last ten games. The goal was Leslie’s first of the playoffs and came at a big time for the MOB.
“He’s one of those guys when you’re in a pinch on the bench and you look down, his name just automatically pops into your head. When you need a big face-off whether it’s in the offensive zone, neutral or especially the defensive zone you can count on him. What’s more important is he’s not scared to be vocal with our players and he has that instant respect because he has had success in the playoffs – unfortunately it was against us the last couple years,” said Keca with a laugh when talking about Leslie.
Curr was able to shut the door the rest of the way, making 34 saves in the win. Izyk sealed the win with an empty net goal with 19 seconds remaining after some great work in the Storm’s end by Leslie.
The MOB look to close out the series Monday night when they take on the Storm in Game 4. You can listen to the action on Country 93.3 with Taylor Pope beginning with the pre-game show at 7:15 p.m.
“It’s going to be their best effort, especially the first period and you can use all the cliches you want, back’s against the wall, there’s no tomorrow…at the end of the day we look at what we can control and that’s our work ethic,” said Keca on what to expect in Game 4 on Monday.
MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 post-game show.
Writen by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines