Oil Barons complete sweep of Thunder

By Trevor Howlett, Fort McMurray Today



The Fort McMurray Oil Barons completed a sweep of the Drayton Valley Thunder Sunday night with a 3-1 victory at the Drayton Valley Omniplex.

“It was a very strong effort today,” said Oil Barons head coach and general manager Gord Thibodeau. “They were very determined and won a lot of battles. I thought we moved the puck well and penalty killing I thought was very good also. Probably our most complete game of the series.”

Mitch Byrne opened the scoring for the Oil Barons at 2:35 of the first period, but Ty Bettac would knot the score for the Thunder just 30 seconds later. Neither team would light the lamp again until the third period, though the Oil Barons held a 41-19 shot advantage after the second period.

Early in the third period, Austin Yadlowski's shot found it's way through traffic on the Oil Barons' powerplay to give the MOB a 2-1 lead. At 9:21 of the third period, MOB captain Jetlan Houcher was able to give the Barons some insurance as his wrister beat Thunder goalie Marc Olivier Daigle. The Barons were able to shutdown the Thunder for the remainder of the game and finish with a 3-1 win. Tanner Jaillet made 24 saves to get his third straight win of the playoffs.

Thibodeau said he was happy his team was able to close out the series in three games and finish strong against the Thunder.

“You're not going to be perfect each night and we certainly played a good first game and a real good third game,” said Thibodeau. “We knew that we had to be better after the second game and the boys accepted the challenge. The boys bounced back real strong tonight. It's important to get that third win and get as much rest as you can.”

The Oil Barons will begin the next round of the playoffs Friday night at the Casman Centre.


Photo credit: Courtney Whalen/QMI Agency