A slow start doomed the Oil Barons on Tuesday night. Fort McMurray gave up five goals in the first 11:09 and they fell to the Bonnyville Pontiacs 6-2. Ryan Arnold and Demitri DiFlorio had the goals for the MOB, while Gage Stewart stopped 23 of 25 shots he faced in relief of Noah Nelson, who gave up four goals on six shots.
Bonnyville opened the scoring on the power-play. A beautiful passing play saw Luka Sukovic set up Nicolas Beaudoin for his 17th goal of the season to make it 1-0 Pontiacs. Bonnyville doubled their lead 26 seconds later. Billy Batten drove into the offensive zone, fighting off a check before sliding the puck under Nelson. Less than two minutes later, the Pontiac lead increased. Batten snagged his second goal of the game, another power-play marker to make it 3-0 Bonnyville. Yet, another power-play goal made it 4-0 Pontiacs. This time Jack McAra found the back of the net, ending the night for Nelson. Bonnyville scored another goal in the first period. Batten drove to the net, before he was knocked off the puck, and Sukovic fired home his 31st goal of the year. The Oil Barons responded on the scoreboard in the second period. Demitri DiFlorio picked up the puck on the power-play and snapped home a shot, top corner, for his third goal of the year to make it 5-1. Bonnyville restored their five goal advantage early in the third period. Braydon Vandenbilche wired a shot over the glove of Stewart for his second goal of the season, and it was 6-1 Pontiacs. Fort McMurray answered back 26 seconds later. Carter Schmidt forced a turnover in behind Bonnyville’s net and found a wide open Ryan Arnold in the slot. Arnold slid the puck through the legs of Kyle Hagen for his 11th goal of the season, bringing the score to 6-2 which held until the final buzzer.
After Friday’s game against Brooks was canceled by the AJHL, the Oil Barons will return to action on Saturday night. The MOB will take on the Drumheller Dragons for the fourth and final time of the season, with Fort McMurray looking for the season series sweep of the Dragons. Puck drop is at 7pm.