BONNYVILLE, AB (February 26, 2013) — Despite dressing just three defencemen, and using forward Alex Cromwell (McKinney, TX) as an impromptu replacement on the back end, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons never trailed in regulation in Bonnyville Tuesday night, but fell 3-2 in overtime to the divisional rival Pontiacs.
With the loss, the Barons can now finish no higher than fourth in the AJHL North after tomorrow night's season finale against Bonnyville at home.
The MOB opened the scoring just over 3 minutes into the game when Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) skated from the right point into the slot and fired a wrist shot past goaltender Tyler Santos to give the Barons an early 1-0 lead.
It would be short-lived, though, as Mitch Owsley would tap home a net-front one-timer about four minutes later to tie up the game through 1.
The second period belonged to Bonnyville with a 12-4 shot margin in favour of the home side – yet the stingy Barons defence and goaltender Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) prevented the Pontiacs from taking a lead.
The Barons reclaimed their lead in the third when captain Mike Marianchuk (Innisfail, AB) found himself on a shorthanded breakaway, converting the wrist shot to make it 2-1 Fort McMurray.
But the Pontiacs were then afforded another powerplay opportunity, and Ty Carey converted by chopping a puck into the Barons net from the side of the cage to knot it up 2-2.
Just over a minute into overtime, it was the Pontiacs captain, Locke Muller, who scored on a long wrist shot from the right faceoff circle to give the Pontiacs the win.
The home and home series concludes tomorrow night in Fort McMurray at 7:30 at the Casman Centre.
Country 93.3 3 stars:
3. Tyler Santos (30 saves, 32 shots)
2. Mike Marianchuk (1 goal, 1 assist)
1. Locke Muller (1 overtime goal)