The Fort McMurray Oil Barons are heading home with two wins over the Lloydminster Bobcats but were unable to pick up the weekend sweep with a Sunday afternoon loss to the Bonnyville Pontiacs.
The MOB beat the Bobcats 4-2 Friday and 2-1 Saturday before losing 4-1 to the Pontiacs.
On Friday, the MOB (7-10-1) were carried by the line of Michael Hodge, Brendan Stafford and Hunter Lamb who scored all four goals and combined for 7 points in the win.
After the Bobcats (1-14-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period with a pair of powerplay goals, Lamb scored on an Oil Barons powerplay after a cross-ice pass from Hodge.
Then it was Hodge scoring off the rush to tie the game. In the third period, Stafford set up Lamb and then Hodge as twice he found the trailer coming in late.
On Saturday, the line again got the ball rolling for the MOB when Hodge broke a scoreless tie with 39 seconds left in the second period. Lamb and Stafford drew the assists.
?They worked extremely hard and I think some chemistry is starting to form and they?re getting rewarded through hard work and getting engaged,? said MOB Head Coach Bob Beatty on the trio who combined for 10 points in the two wins.
The Bobcats tied the game on a two-on-one early in the third period but Ty Ettinger gave the Barons the lead with 4:14 remaining when his point shot fooled Josh Dias and ended up in the back of the net.
?It was great to see Ettinger score. Get it off the wall and throw it on net and anything can happen and fortunate for us it went in,? said Beatty of Ettinger?s goal which was his second of the year.
The back to back wins gave the MOB three in a row as they headed to Bonnyville Sunday afternoon with a chance to sweep the weekend and knock off the Pontiacs for a second time in a week.
The MOB didn?t get the start they wanted as the Yaks (10-4-2) scored 28 seconds into the game on a deflection from Lucas Thorne.
The Barons responded quickly when Kabore Dunn snapped a shot home just over a minute later with Taige Harding and Jesse Burchart drawing the assists.
The game remained 1-1 until the Pontiacs scored two goals in a 1:44 span late in the second period.
With the MOB trailing 3-1, the game turned for the worse when Harding laid out Alex Marrocco with a thunderous check on the boards. The whistle blew and Marrocco chased Harding down the ice and looked to challenge the big defenceman.
Harding would drop his gloves and send Marrocco to the ground and would be the only player penalized on the play. The Barons penalty killers killed off the full seven minutes but even after the big kill, the MOB couldn?t get back in the game and the Pontiacs tacked on a late goal.
?Our guys put in a real solid effort and logged some big minutes,? said Beatty on his penalty killers. ?The guys played a solid game and we have nothing to hang our heads about.?
The Barons now head home and will face the Whitecourt Wolverines on Friday and Saturday at the Casman Centre. Puck-drop for both games is at 7:30 p.m.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines