The Casman Centre has been a tough place to play to start the season for opposing teams. The Fort McMurray Oil Barons entered Wednesday night’s game against the Bonnyville Pontiacs 4-0 at home and having outscored their opponents 23-3.
The Yaks are the only team to beat the Barons so far this season and once again got the better of the MOB skating away with a 4-2 win and handing the MOB their first loss on home ice.
“Nobody thought that we were going to go 30-0 at home this year,” said Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 Post Game Show. “It’s another adversity and will reveal some character from us.”
The teams traded chances to start the game but it would be the Pontiacs breaking the deadlock. Trygve Many Guns in his first game with the Yaks out muscled Curtis Roach to a rebound in front on a powerplay and slipped home his first goal of the season.
The Barons would respond late in the first period when Brett Edwards scored his third goal of the season. Taner Miller fired a shot from the point that was deflected in the slot, Josh Williams made the save but the puck bounced right to Edwards who was left all alone at the side of the goal to tie the game 1-1.
“It was good for Eddie to score a goal because I know that that monkey was crawling up on his shoulders, now if we could just knock the one off Will Conley’s back, we’d be a little bit better,” said Keca.
Just 3:07 into the second, Isaac Saniga restored the Pontiacs one goal lead as he beat Eric Szudor for his first career AJHL goal.
Shane Fraser would tie the game at the 8:56 mark when he threw the puck on goal from the top of the face-off circle and beat a screened Williams. The goal was Fraser’s third of the year and first since returning from a two game suspension.
The Yaks would again take the lead late in the frame on a weird bounce off the end glass that landed right in front of the MOB goal. Josh Borynec pounced on the loose puck and beat an unsuspecting Szudor to give the Pontiacs a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
“There’s such a fine line between winning and losing so at the end of the day the winning goal is a shot that goes off the goalie, off the back glass that pops out in front and they get a bounce,” said Keca.
The MOB fired 39 shots towards Williams but it would be a couple of goal posts that saved the Pontiacs. JC Thivierge rang a shot off the cross bar mid-way through the third period then moments later ripped one off the left goal post. That was as close as the MOB would get as Alden Dupuis sealed the victory for the visitor’s with an empty net goal.
“I don’t know if our forwards just got caught mesmerized today but I felt that we did a lot of standing around and that’s not conducive to the type of structure that we want,” said Keca.
The MOB are back in action this weekend as the entire AJHL heads to Camrose for the annual Showcase. The Barons will take on the Brooks Bandits Friday night at 8:00p.m. before facing the Drumheller Dragons Saturday afternoon at 4:30p.m. Both games will be broadcasted on Country 93.3 with Taylor Pope.
By: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com.
Audio: Head Coach and General Manager Tom Keca shares his thoughts after last night's game.