The Fort McMurray Oil Barons snapped a five game losing skid with a 2-1 win over the Olds Grizzlys at the Casman Centre Friday night. The MOB also leap-frogged the Grande Prairie Storm into the final playoff spot in the AJHL’s North division following a 9-0 Storm loss to Drayton Valley.
“It was a good game I thought that was probably the best defensive game we’ve played in a really long time,” said Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca on the ROCK 97.9 post-game show. “We collapsed really well, they’ve got some offensive firepower up there and to keep Noskey and those guys off the score sheet is a huge accomplishment. I thought that as a group we defended well.”
The MOB limited Olds to just four shots in the second period, outshooting the South division club 33-27 over the full sixty minutes. Eric Szudor picked up his second career AJHL victory on a night where he face few shots.
Fort McMurray’s Quintin Sudom opened the scoring at the 11:12 mark of the first period with his very first AJHL goal coming in just his third game as an affiliated player. Sudom redirected a MacKenzie Mindus point-shot using his “keister” as described by Keca.
“I know that when he’s [Sudom] telling his parents and all of his friends, it was an end-to-end toe-drag roof special right where grandma keeps the whiskey, but it was just net front presence.”
Certainly a goal the McMurray kid won’t forget, scoring at home, playing for his home-town team in what would be an eventual victory.
Olds’ Jeremy Klessens banged in his own rebound at 2:24 of the second period to tie the game at two apiece heading into the third frame.
The winning goal was thanks to industrious fore-checking that led to an offensive zone turnover by Dylan Rauh who looks like a whole new player since December. In his post-game comments Keca said Rauh has been guilty of being a player that cycles the puck just for the sake of cycling.
“What he did on that one was a change of direction he kept puck possession, drew a defender to him and then he saw Jackson [McKinstry],” said Keca. “That’s another individual [McKinstry] who’s been really good for us he’s playing a new role he’s playing centreman his line did a great job today and for his line to get the game winning goal it was just great.”
The Oil Barons failed to score on their one power-play opportunity while Olds was held goalless on their two power-plays.
Keca and his crew will have a short turnaround as the MOB host the Okotoks Oilers Saturday night at the Casman Centre.
“Another young team that plays very simple they’re gonna get pucks in they’re big on the back end. [Friday] doesn’t mean anything if we can’t get [Saturday].”
Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Article courtesy of mymcmurray.com.
Photographer: Dan Lines