The Oil Barons split their first two games of four straight on the road. On Thanksgiving, they fell to the Brooks Bandits, before shutting out the Drumheller Dragons.
Fort McMurray was happy with their first 35 minutes against the Bandits. At the Centennial Regional Arena, Brooks led 1-0 after 20 minutes, thanks to a power-play goal by Hunter Wallace. The Bandits doubled their lead early in the second, when Josh Wiebe scored his first career AJHL goal. However, the Oil Barons’ deficit was cut in half, when a shot from Keefe Gruener snuck through Brendan Holahan and crawled over the goal-line. The Bandits then took over the game. Logan Sawyer had two goals before the end of the second period, Quinn McCall added a tally early in the third, while Parker Lalonde and Nathan Free also scored in the third period. Brett Boucher had a breakaway goal in the third period, and the Oil Barons fell on Thanksgiving 7-2.
The next night, Fort McMurray received a standout performance from their goaltender, Noah Nelson. The Calgary product stopped all 42 shots he faced against the Drumheller Dragons, and the Oil Barons shut out one of the league’s top offenses 2-0. Late in the second period, Hudson Norris picked out Chad Lebeau, who was creeping in from the point, for Lebeau’s first career AJHL goal, giving Fort McMurray the 1-0 lead. Nelson stopped shot after shot, before Gruener doubled the Oil Barons lead with an empty net marker. For Gruener, it was his team leading fourth goal of the campaign.
Fort McMurray continues their four game road trip on Thursday, when they battle the Calgary Canucks. Puck drop is at 7pm.