The Fort McMurray Oil Barons welcomed the Grande Prairie Storm to the Casman Centre over the weekend and were able to shutdown the high powered Storm offence and instead explode themselves as the MOB came away with 7-3 and 3-1 wins.
“We’re showing here slowly but surely that when we do want to be invested into the system work and we’re willing to get there and we’re willing to compete and skate we have the makings of a pretty good team,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca after Saturday’s win.
The MOB (36-10-3) dominated a short staffed Storm (23-23-3) team Saturday night, outshooting the Storm 45-25 and lighting the lamp seven times. The team was led by the line of Coy Prevost, Jordan Roy and Nicholas Leeseberg who combined for three goals. After starting his MOB career a little slow offensively, Prevost has certainly found his game as the former Canmore Eagle has goals in three straight contests and five points during that stretch.
The Barons were able to spread their offence around over the weekend with goals coming from Jarred White, Jack Hamly, Will Conley, Merritt Oszytko and a pair from defenceman JC Thivierge.
“We want to play a style where it allows our defencemen to join into the rush which means your forwards have to manage the puck and try and limit the amount of turnovers that we have,” said Keca. “Your scoring has to be spread out if you’re going to have success in the playoffs because match-ups become key and specialty teams so we don’t really care at the end of the day who scores the goals as long as we get enough to rack up some more W’s.”
The Storm played Saturday with just 14 skaters due to suspensions and injuries. On Sunday they had 16 bodies which meant a lot of ice time for leading scorers Justin Bernier and Edouard Michaud. The Barons shutdown the pair for most of the weekend, limiting them to a goal each on Saturday and on Sunday it was Chris Curr stealing the show, robbing Bernier not once but twice.
“Probably if it wasn’t for (Chris) Curr we don’t get the two points. He made some key stops. Other than the breakaway and the two-on-one there wasn’t a ton of grade A scoring chances, we did a good job of keeping them to the outside but you still need those stops,” said Keca on the play of Curr who made 28 saves in the win.
The MOB received a boost to their line-up on Sunday as centre Liam Izyk suited up for the first time since fracturing his ankle in mid-November.
“He had two great scoring chances in the second period in the slot when he came in and their goalie made some stops and then he rang one off the post so we’ll monitor him now and see what the pain threshold is and if there’s any pain,” said Keca on Izyk who missed 25 games with the injury.
During Saturday night’s game, the MOB teamed up with former Oil Baron TJ Campbell and helped raise money for the Fort McMurray Soup Kitchen during the Frisbee’s for Food event. In total $11,550 was raised.
Next up for the MOB, they will head to Camrose on Friday, Drumheller on Saturday before finishing up their road trip Sunday afternoon in Sherwood Park.
MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 Post-Game Show.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com.
Photo by: Dan Lines, Fort McMurray Oil Barons