They’re getting closer, but it’s hard to win a hockey game when you allow a goal within the first five minutes of each period of play. The Oil Barons were outshot 47-27 in a 5-4 loss to the back-to-back defending champion Spruce Grove Saints who unfurled their championship banner last night.
The Oil Barons record dropped to 0-4, while the Saints improved to 5-0.
“There are so many bright spots, and we’re preaching patience and I get it, we’re oh-and-four and there’s probably a lot of people wondering when we’re going to win our first game,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca following the loss. “The belief in that room is that we’re striving to get better, we’ve got a young group, they’re playing better and if we can take spruce grove to a 5-4 game in our second game in two nights I’ll take that for right now […] it’s a process, its baby steps and we’ll get better.”
Brett Edwards notched his first two AJHL goals, the 17-year-old Grande Prairie native will surely score many more throughout his Junior ‘A’ career. “For Brett Edwards to come in after being sat down yesterday to come in and respond with two goals those are just positive things,” said Keca.
Rookie goaltender Eric Szudor put in another strong night of work against the Saints turning aside 42 of 47 shots fired his way, making a few spectacular saves throughout the evening.
Matthew Murray was a bit quieter on the other end for the Saints stopping 30 of 34 Oil Barons drives.
It was the first game this year where the MOB didn’t completely fall apart for a stretch of 10-15 minutes, there was consistent effort for the duration of the match.
“I thought that we did great job on our forecheck, we created havoc down low,” said Keca. “We had a meeting today at 10 o’clock with our veterans and we challenged them to be better and to a man I thought they were better.”
Austin Holmes scored his first of the season with a great shot from the slot using the defender as a screen he also had a breakaway in the first period that he lifted into the mesh and out of play, by far his best performance of the year.
Marcus Kichton was excellent again picking up an assist, Landon Welykholowa picked up another goal and an assist and now leads the Oil Barons with four points in four games.
The MOB have another match right around the corner as they’ll take on the South Division leading Camrose Kodiaks who hold a record of 3-0.
“This is not a five game race of a season it’s a sixty game marathon,” noted the MOB Head Coach.
Puck drop is at 2 p.m., you can tune into the pre-game show on ROCK 97.9 at 1:45 p.m.
Article courtesy of mymcmurray.com.