It was not the weekend the Fort McMurray Oil Barons were hoping for when they hit the road for their first road trip of the season.
The MOB were handed a 6-0 loss in Spruce Grove on Friday night before falling 4-1 on Saturday in Sherwood Park.
It was definitely a tough road swing to open the year as the Saints and Crusaders look to battle for the North Division crown with an abundance of returning players and high end skill. Both teams are 5-0-0 to start the year.
Certainly two tough opponents but the Oil Barons who saw their record drop to 1-3-0 aren?t making excuses about how tough their opponents are, they know they need to be better.
The MOB were in both games early on before their opponents were able to pull away by burying their chances, something the MOB have struggled to do over the past three games.
After opening the season with a 5-3 victory over the Grande Prairie Storm, the Barons have only scored two goals during their three game losing streak and have been outscored 14-2.
?That?s where goals come from for the most part and if we?re not willing to get there then we?re not going to get our share,? said MOB Head Coach Bob Beatty when asked about players getting to the front of the net and battling for pucks.
Logan Bromhead scored the only goal of the road trip and was standing in the crease when he whacked home a rebound Saturday night for his third goal of the year.
That goal tied the game 1-1 against the Crusaders after former Oil Baron Jarred White had opened the scoring on a shorthanded 2-on-0.
The MOB hung in against the high flying Crusaders until a pair of penalties late in the second period put the MOB down two men.
The Crusaders struck twice in 18 seconds to open up a 3-1 lead on goals from Michael Benning and Carter Savoie.
?Those powerplay goals were a turning point, especially the one with four seconds left on the five-on-three and the killer was giving up the five-on-four goal when we ran around a bit trying to finish our check on the penalty kill,? said Beatty.
Evan Fradette made his first two appearances for the MOB after being acquired from the BCHL?s West Kelowna Warriors. The St. Albert native started the third period in Friday?s loss after Chris Curr allowed five goals on 29 shots.
He allowed one goal on eight shots Friday before making 38 saves in Saturday?s loss in his first start.
?He?s big, he covers a lot of the net, he handles the puck pretty well and his angles were good and he made some real good saves from close in as well,? said Beatty of his new goaltender. To make room for Fradette, the MOB traded Josh Dias to the Lloydminster Bobcats on Thursday.
It was a tough first start of the season for Curr on Friday who made some big saves but didn?t get a lot of help defensively as a few turnovers proved costly against the Saints.
Leading 1-0 in the second period, the Saints scored four goals in the frame to open up a commanding 5-0 lead and never looked back.
The Barons will look to get back on track when they welcome the Bonnyville Pontiacs to the Casman Centre Tuesday night. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines