Fort McMurray saw their losing streak extend to four games after a pair of home losses to the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Jason Haung had goals in both contests, while Simon Gaul and Rylan Ringor also added markers for the blue and gold.
Thursday’s game looked promising after the first period play. Gaul opened the scoring about three minutes in, before the Crusaders got markers from Brock Souch and Ethan Merner. Fort McMurray tied the game at 2-2, when Ringor cashed in on a rebound late in the first period, but then the wheels came off for the Oil Barons over the next two frames. Sherwood Park marched to a stunning 10-3 victory, scoring five goals in the second period and adding another three in the third. The Crusaders had goals from nine different players, while Cole Assailly added four assists in the win. Huang had a buzzer beater at the end of second period, which was the only bright spot for Fort McMurray in the final 40 minutes of play.
The Oil Barons came back Friday night with a much better effort, despite falling 2-1 in a shootout. Noah Nelson stopped 31 of 32 shots, while Huang opened the scoring on a 5-on-3 powerplay. Ethan King unleashed a point shot that missed the net, but the puck came off the backboards right to an open Huang, who shoveled home his third goal of the season. The Crusaders responded roughly two minutes later, just as an Oil Baron penalty expired. Some quick passing saw the puck slide to Brock Souch in the slot, and the second year forward made no mistake tying the game at one. Both Nelson and Elliott Pratt locked down their nets making save after save, sending the game to overtime. Fort McMurray had a power-play in the last minute of overtime, but Pratt robbed King on a one-timer for one of his 29 saves on the night. Sherwood Park saw Ewan Mcpherson and Souch score in the shootout, while the Oil Barons got a response from Ethan Sundar, only to see Pratt stop both the Arnold brothers to seal the victory.
Fort McMurray embarks on a four game southern trip this week. The action starts on Monday afternoon, when the Oil Barons visit the Brooks Bandits.