In front of a packed Casman Centre on a Family Day afternoon, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons were able to do something no other team has this season, beat the Bonnyville Pontiacs four times.
After defeating the Pontiacs 4-3 Friday night, the MOB followed up that victory with a dominate performance Monday, handing the first place Pontiacs their second straight loss as the MOB picked up the 4-1 win.
The Barons (28-19-8) swept all three meetings this season at the Casman Centre and took the season series 4-2 against their division rival.
“Love the way we played today,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca as the MOB are now on a three game winning streak. “One of the hardest things you ask these players to do is beat the same team twice in a row within a short span. There was extra motivation for Bonnyville coming in today, it’s the last time we see them so you want to send a message if it’s potentially a playoff opponent.”
For a second straight game, the Pontiacs (39-12-4) would open the scoring when Matthew Monk floated a point shot on goal that hand-cuffed Chris Curr to give the Yaks the early 1-0 lead.
The Barons line of Jaedon Leslie, Jarred White and Peter Tomaras took over the period just past the mid-way point. Tomaras and White each threw a crushing bodycheck to swing the momentum to the MOB’s side. The line then scored on three consecutive shifts to open up a 3-1 Oil Barons lead.
“That line was jumping and they got the ball rolling for us and Leslie has found his game but our most improved player this year might be Jarred White. He’s really come a long way and somebody mentioned to me it must be close to playoff time because that’s when Jarred White tends to play his best hockey,” said Keca on White who has 18 points in his last 21 games.
The goals came 3:46 apart and began when White found Leslie streaking to the back post. White sauced a pass over the laid out Pontiacs defender and Leslie knocked the puck past Colby Muise for his 18th goal of the year and third in his last three games.
After the Pontiacs failed to clear their zone on three attempts, Tomaras got the puck to Leslie who had a two-on-one down low with White. Leslie out waited Muise before sliding the puck to White who had an easy tap in. White now has goals in five of his last six games and eight points during that stretch.
Tomaras capped off the first period scoring on a powerplay when his shot from the slot caught Muise going the wrong way as the Barons entered the Pontiacs zone with speed.
Reed Morison would give the Barons a 4-1 advantage at 14:30 of the second period off a brutal Pontiacs turnover. The puck was turned over to Brendan Stafford who dished to Kole Gable before finding Morison in front to snap home his league leading 39th goal.
The Barons completely shut down the Pontiacs from that point on as they only gave up four shots in the third period. Chris Curr made 23 saves in picking up his 20th win of the season. The St. Albert native has six wins in his last eight starts.
“You just have to eliminate turnovers and you don’t want to give up a cheap goal and I thought that we did a great job. We did a solid job in our own zone protecting the house and keeping them to the outside on the chances they did have and when Chris Curr can see the puck he’s probably going to make those saves and he came up with some timely ones tonight,” said Keca on his teams strong shutdown third period.
The Oil Barons will finish up their home portion of the regular season this weekend when they welcome the Whitecourt Wolverines to the Casman Centre on Friday and Saturday.
MOB Head Coach Tom Keca & his son Carter join Taylor Pope on the Country 93.3 post-game show.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines