Emotions ran high in the third period Friday night in Calgary as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (25-4-2) battled from a goal down to tie the Mustangs (16-17-3) in the dying seconds to force overtime before Peter Tomaras buried a rebound to give the MOB a 4-3 win.
A late high hit by Mustangs defenceman Ayden Roche-Setoguchi on Jarred White sparked a heated shouting match between the two benches with just under five minutes to play in the third period with the Mustangs leading 3-2.
Roche-Setoguchi had just left the penalty box after a hard cross-check to the back of Oil Barons captain Shane Fraser in front of the Mustangs goal that sent the MOB forward flying to the ice.
After leaving the penalty box, Roche-Setoguchi skated straight across the ice and after White had dumped the puck into the Mustangs end and had already been hit along the boards by Mustangs captain Salvatore Scalise, Roche-Setoguchi hit a vulnerable White in the head that left the Oil Barons forward on the ice for several minutes.
The Oil Barons were unable to capitalize on the powerplay and were forced to pull Eric Szudor with just over a minute to play. With the net empty, the puck slid down the ice towards the MOB goal. Taner Miller battled with Liam Freeborn in a race for the loose puck and as the two players fell to the ice, Miller swept his stick and got enough of the puck to stop it on the goal line before it was cleared away by Owen Reith.
Miller was handed a holding penalty on the play and with the Oil Barons shorthanded, the Mustangs tried to just kill the remaining seconds off the clock but a cross ice pass by Freeborn was knocked out of the air by Reed Morison just inside the Mustangs blueline and Morison ripped a shot into the top left corner past Joey May to tie the game 3-3 with 18.7 seconds left.
The Barons would kill off the remaining 1:33 of Miller’s penalty in overtime with Eric Szudor making several huge saves. The MOB would break up ice with Connor Lyons racing down the left wing and he dropped a pass to JC Thivierge. His shot was stopped by May but the rebound came right to Tomaras who buried his 2nd goal of the season 2:16 into overtime.
“Full credit to the boys we have in the room cause the boys never quit,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca whose team has now won 7 games in a row. “You don’t want to turn the puck over to Morison in that area and he buries it and then we did a great job on the three-on-two.”
The Barons were in tough from the get go with five regulars out of the line-up including leading scorer Will Conley who was joined on the shelf by Jack Hamly, Curtis Roach, Liam Izyk and a suspended Merritt Oszytko.
The MOB looked to two veteran forwards in Morison and Nicholas Leeseberg to lead the attack and they didn’t disappoint. Leeseberg opened the scoring 3:38 into the game off a great feed from Morison as he snapped a shot low on May for his 7th goal of the year.
The Mustangs tied the game with a powerplay goal from Joseph Karpyshyn at 11:06 of the first period as he beat Szudor from the top of the face-off circle on the glove side.
The Barons restored their lead on Leeseberg’s second goal of the game 4:49 into the second period as Morison found the second year forward in the slot and he beat May through the five hole.
The Barons would let off the gas late in the frame and that allowed the Mustangs to score two goals in a 1:27 span to take their first lead of the game 3-2. Yuri Chernichko and Chase Miller got the goals for the Mustangs.
“I thought that we were outstanding for the first 16 minutes of the second period, we kept them on their heels but again you take your foot off the gas for three-four minutes, you allow them to score two goals and then you’re chasing the game in the third period,” said Keca.
That lead stood until Morison notched his 13th of the year and picked up his 6th point in his last two games. The 19 year old is now tied for the team scoring lead with Will Conley with 35 points on the season.
The MOB will continue their southern road trip Saturday night in Brooks before finishing Sunday afternoon in Calgary against the Canucks.
The MOB dressed two affiliate players marking the first time this season the MOB have had to do so. Nolen Coventry and Ethan Jamernick provided solid minutes in their MOB debuts. Merritt Oszytko sat out his second game of a four game suspension. Will Conley missed his first game of the season leaving the MOB with just four players who have played all 31 games so far this year (Shane Fraser, Reed Morison, Nicholas Leeseberg and Taner Miller).
MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 Post-Game Show.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com.