The Bonnyville Pontiacs showed they are not the same team that the Fort McMurray Oil Barons swept in the first round of the AJHL playoffs a season ago.
A revamped Pontiac (4-1-0) team peppered the Oil Barons goal and came away with a hard fought 3-0 win Sunday afternoon, handing the MOB (3-1-1) their first regulation loss of the season.
The Yaks fired 40 shots compared to the Oil Barons 16 with MOB netminder Chris Curr making one spectacular save after another.
The first period saw both teams garner a few scoring chances but neither team could find the back of the net. In the second, the Pontiacs dominated the frame, outshooting the Barons 23-5 and striking twice to take a 2-0 lead.
After Curr made a ridiculous pad save, the puck ended up at the blue line. Sean Thomson wired a shot that deflected off Noah Westgate in front and beat Curr through the legs to open the scoring at 6:13 of the period.
The Pontiacs notched their second goal at 14:48, moments after killing off a Barons powerplay. Ethan Leyer spotted a wide open Marc-Antoine Beniot in the low slot and he fired a shot off the post and in.
The Barons had a few chances in the third period but were unable to beat Colby Muise who recorded his first career AJHL shutout. Joel Ray added an empty net goal to finish off the scoring.
Next up for the MOB is the annual AJHL Showcase in Camrose. The Barons will take on the Drumheller Dragons Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. before a Friday afternoon date with the Canmore Eagles. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
You can catch both those games on Country 93.3 with Taylor Pope.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines