For the second night in a row, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons bested the Lloydminster Bobcats in front of their home crowd at the Casman Centre. This time, the score was 4-1 with Barons goaltender Tanner Jaillet make 35 saves in the win.
“I thought both teams worked hard,” said Oil Barons head coach and general manager Gord Thibodeau. “I thought they can out with a bit more jump, maybe. I just didn't think we competed real hard in our own end; we didn't win a lot of battles. We didn't give up a ton, but possession-wise I didn't think we really did a good job of knocking them off the puck.”
MOB forward Adam Wilcox returned to the lineup for the first time this season, after having abdominal surgery in the off season. Mitchell Vanderlaan didn't play Saturday's game as he was out with a shoulder strain.
In an evenly matched first period, the Barons were the first to light the lamp with rookie Danton Ayotte firing home a close-range powerplay goal with 1:11 to go in the first period. The Barons led the Bobcats 12-11 in shots after the second period.
Just 2:55 into the second, Bobcats forward Eric Therrien found the puck in a scramble and put it past Jaillet to tie the game. But less than three minutes later Kevin Miller would tip in Jetlan Houcher's initial shot to restore the Barons lead. The Bobcats outshout the MOB 13-10 in the middle frame.
Adam Durkee extended his goal streak to four games with a powerplay marker, by backhanding in a rebound at 12:30 of the third, just five seconds into the Barons' man advantage.
15 seconds after Durkee's goal MOB blueliner Louis Joseph Sawyer would square off with the Bobcats' Patrick Geary resulting in game misconducts, while Barons' forward Kevin Miller and Bryce Woodward would each earn 10-minute misconducts.
Alex Cromwell would score the Barons final goal at 17:17, his second in as many games. Unfortunately for the Barons, Luc Lalor would suffer a collarbone injury after getting pushed into the goalpost on the play. Things would get ugly in the last three minutes with the game likely out of reach for the visiting team. Six misconducts were handed out as a result.
“It was a total mess, I think it got a lot little bit out of hand but luckily no one got suspended and we kept our cool for the most part, so that's good,” said Cromwell.
With the win, the Barons improve their record to 32-5-3.
The Barons next game is on the road Tuesday night against the Grande Prairie Storm. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. The next home game for the Oil Barons is Sunday January 12 at 2 p.m. against the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
Photo credit: Dan Lines