The Calgary Mustangs gave the Fort McMurray Oil Barons a scare Friday night but the MOB were able to come away with a 5-3 win at the Casman Centre.
The Mustangs held a 3-2 lead until late in the second period before the Barons were able to tie the game and Jack Hamly scored the eventual winner in the third period.
“They’re a team that hangs around and they’re a team that the longer they can keep it closer the more now it’s chance, I felt we got lucky,” said head coach Tom Keca. “Not an effort that you want to build off the results and the efforts that we had last weekend but we’re not going to get too far ahead this year if we continually take two steps forward and one step back.”
The MOB (11-1-1) are now riding a six game winning streak after picking up huge wins last weekend in Okotoks and Olds but found themselves in a struggle against the lowly Mustangs (5-9-1).
It didn’t take the Barons long to get on the board as JC Thivierge ripped home his first goal of the season 3:06 into the game off a Jackson Verstraete rebound ended up on the defenceman’s stick.
The Mustangs responded two minutes later when Tanner Klassen streaked down the right wing and beat Eric Szudor on the short side to tie the game.
Calgary would take the lead before the period was out on a late powerplay. The puck sat in front of the MOB goal and no one picked up Chase Miller who roofed a shot from in tight.
The Barons came out flying to start the second period and off a face-off win from Shane Fraser, Thivierge would score his second of the game. The 20 year olds shot hit the arm of Calgary’s netminder Ashton Abel and rolled up over top of him before falling across the goal line to make it 2-2.
“I know that he puts a lot of pressure on himself in terms of statistics and scoring goals so it was nice to see him get rewarded,” said Keca on Thivierge scoring his first 2 goals of the season.
The MOB controlled the majority of the second period, outshooting the Mustangs 20-7 in the frame but the Mustangs found some life near the mid-way point. Hemming the Barons in deep and a point shot was deflected in the slot by Joseph Karpyshyn past Szudor to restore their one goal lead.
Looking for the equalizer the MOB turned to Thivierge who jumped up in the rush and ended up back behind the Mustangs goal. The defenceman’s pass found Reed Morison in front who buried his 6th goal of the season to once again tie the game.
The teams traded chances in the third period with Szudor making several big saves to keep the MOB equal. Ryan Conroy would eventually find some open ice down the right wing and as he was falling, slid the puck across to Jack Hamly who chipped a shot past Abel to give the MOB the lead 4-3.
“Jack’s been really good for us. He’s probably been one of our most consistent players and doesn’t necessarily show up on the scoresheet every night but takes key face-offs for us, kills penalties and he’s playing a lot harder on his stick,” said Keca on the play of Hamly and scoring his 3rd goal of the season.
Will Conley would add an empty net goal, his 12th of the year to seal the victory. The Barons outshot the Mustangs 51-28 in the win.
Next up for the Barons, the will host the Sherwood Park Crusaders Saturday night at the Casman Centre. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
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