FORT MCMURRAY, AB (March 13, 2021) – Hunter Lamb scored on the powerplay at 10:32 of the third period, propelling the Fort McMurray Oil Barons to a wild 6-4 win over the Spruce Grove Saints at Centerfire Place on Saturday night.
Graham Gamache opened the game’s scoring at 9:06 of the first period with a wrist shot from the top the circle that beat Evan Fradette.
However, the Saints’ lead would be short lived as Hunter Lamb found an open Michael Hodge to beat Thomas Couture with a backhand shot at 17:12 of the period.
With the game tied at 1 heading into the second period, the Oil Barons’ offense started to go to work. At 6:40, Taige Harding snapped a wrist shot through traffic in front of the Saints net to put the Oil Barons up 2-1. And at 13:54, Michael Hodge buried his second of the night off another pass from Hunter Lamb with Hassan Akl drawing the second assist.
The Oil Barons would extend their lead to 3-1 before the end of the second period with Ryder Matter scoring his first AJHL goal in his first game. Clarke Huxley drew his first AJHL point on Matter’s goal, after he deked a Saints defender from just inside the blue line to send Matter in all alone on Couture.
With the Oil Barons holding a 3-1 lead going into the third period, the game would take a sharp turn. The Oil Barons would find themselves in penalty trouble to start the period and would end up surrendering three powerplay goals to the Saints in the period.
Jayden Davis scored his second goal of the weekend on the powerplay at 3:40, while Jake Aston and Shane LaVelle each scored powerplay goals at 5:28 and 9:11 respectively to tie the game at 4-4.
With the game tied at 4, Oil Barons Head Coach and General Manger Gord Thibodeau called a time-out to help settle and refocus his squad. That move paid off as Michael Hodge set up Hunter Lamb on yet another powerplay in the period to restore the lead at 5-4 at 10:32.
The Saints would pull Couture with just under two minutes left for the extra attacker, but it was Hunter Lamb that found find the empty net for his second of the period and seal a 6-4 win for the Oil Barons.
In total, the trio of Hodge, Lamb and Akl generated a combined 11 points on the night.
Both teams will continue their eight-game series under the AJHL’s Return to Play format next weekend with games in Spruce Grove on Friday and Saturday night. You can catch both games on HockeyTV and Country 93.3 with the pre-game show starting at 6:45 p.m.