Fort McMurray wrapped up a four game road trip with points in three straight games. Thursday saw the Oil Barons down the Calgary Canucks 5-3, before falling to Olds on Friday 3-2 in a shootout.
Thursday saw the Oil Barons engage in a back and forth game against one of the league’s top teams. Calgary took an early lead thanks to Gavin Garland’s fifth goal of the year, before Keefe Gruener knocked home his own rebound to tie the game at 1-1. Before the end of the first period, the Canucks restored their advantage with a strike from Gavin Schmidt, his sixth goal of the season. Fort McMurray tied the game at 2-2 on the power-play, when Nik Hoogendoorn cashed in a Ryan Arnold rebound for his first goal of the game. Liam Rodman gave the Mob their first lead of the game, following up the play and knocking home another rebound goal. However, the Canucks tied the game before the end of the period. After a series of defensive zone turnovers, Julien Gervais took advantage to make it 3-3. The Hoogendoorn show continued in the third period. The Gibsons, BC product scored his second goal of the game, after dancing around a defender on a 2-on-1, and sniping a shot over the shoulder of Spencer Borsos. Hoogendoorn finished the hat-trick with an empty net goal, giving Fort McMurray the 5-3 win.
In Olds, the Oil Barons got a 31 save performance from Gabe Gratton and two markers from Simon Gaul, but it wasn’t enough as the Grizzlys prevailed 3-2 in a shootout. Fort McMurray had a slow start to the game which saw Olds strike twice in the span of 21 seconds. Greye Rampton scored on the power-play, while Lucas Baxter picked up his first career AJHL goal. The Oil Barons wouldn’t respond until late in the second period. Hudson Norris picked out Simon Gaul in the left faceoff circle, and the Quebec product picked out the top corner over the glove of Aiden Comeau for a power-play goal. Gaul’s second goal of the game tied the contest seconds into the third period. On a set play for an offensive zone faceoff, Gruener won the draw back to Gaul, who fired home the 2-2 marker. 60 minutes and overtime solved nothing, sending the game to a shootout. It took six rounds of shooters before a winner was scored. Gaul struck for the Oil Barons, while Ryder Many Grey Horses pushed the shootout into extra shooters, and Mitch Patrick won it for Olds.
The Oil Barons return home on Tuesday night when they take on the Brooks Bandits. Puck drop is at 7:30pm and you can catch all the action on Home Hardware’s Oil Barons Hockey on the MOB Radio Network.