MOB split weekend series as Thunder win 3-1

If you couldn’t tell the Oil Barons dressed as Jekyll and Hyde for Halloween last night. The team that was beat 3-1 by Drayton Valley yesterday barely resembled the club that knocked off the Thunder 4-2 just 24 hours before.

Drayton Valley outshot Fort McMurray 36-26 and scored a goal in each period, both teams went one-for-four on the power-play.

The Thunder got two goals from Brayden Harris and one from Jean-Francois Plourde. Ben Sharf scored the lone Oil Barons marker.

Ravi Dattani stopped 33 of 36 shots fired his way, Brett Epp wasn’t tested all that much facing just 26 shots and allowing one goal.

“There just wasn’t a sense of urgency I don’t think on the offensive side of the puck, I thought that we did a good job defensively by our count we only gave up five scoring chances we kept them to the outside,” said Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca on the ROCK 97.9 post-game show. “We talked about it at the start of the game it’s tough to beat the same team back-to-back.”

Drayton Valley Adjusts

Give the Thunder full credit, they came out with a game-plan last night to split the weekend series. Drayton Valley had a much easier time breaking out of their zone, they flipped lots of pucks to neutral territory creating foot-races on against an Oil Barons defence corps that was caught back-pedaling.

“We just weren’t a very cohesive unit on our fore-check either,” said Keca. “We had one guy going but our second and third guys were just a step behind and I thought that they did a good job of actually reversing the puck a lot on us.”

Asleep Until the Third

There wasn’t a whole lot of urgency in the MOB’s game play last night as they reverted to back to the team that lost 18 of 20 games heading into Saturday’s match.

“Until the last ten minutes you just didn’t sense that there was anybody that really wanted to take the bull by the horns,” said Keca. “When you’ve a young team like this you’re hoping that one of your veteran guys did and I didn’t think that we had that, we had guys that were getting frustrated in the second period and we just didn’t cope very well.”

Ben Sharf’s power-play goal, his third in two games drew some energy to the Oil Barons but with under five minutes to go it was too little too late.

“Everybody wanted to pass to somebody else, we talked about it in the second intermission where this is a time now where we felt the answer was in our dressing room it wasn’t in the other dressing room. We could if we wanted to impose our will, you want to skate to intimidate and things like that. I didn’t think we got it from a team or from a sixty minute effort.”

What’s Next?

The Oil Barons have until Friday to tinker with their game when they’ll start a rough three game road swing through the North Division. Spruce Grove on Friday, Llloydminster Saturday, followed by Bonnyville on Sunday.

“You’ve got the top three teams so again this is another measuring stick for our hockey team. You’ve got Spruce Grove who’s going to be owly because they got swept this weekend by Whitecourt, you’ve got Lloydminster who’s obviously near the top of the North, a Royal Bank Cup host and then you’ve got Bonnyville who’ve made some additions here lately as well.”

The MOB will have some help coming as Tyler Dea will be back in the lineup following the completion of his two game suspension this weekend.

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Photographer: Dan Lines