Slow start costs MOB again in loss to Eagles

Same story, same result for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. For a third straight game the MOB fell behind 2-0 in the opening five minutes, were able to battle back and tie the game but were unable to come away with a win.

The Barons fell 5-3 to the visiting Canmore Eagles Sunday afternoon at the Casman Centre to extend their losing streak to three games.

“When you dissect the game as a whole, we probably do 85 per cent of the job but the problem is you need to do 100 per cent in order to be successful,” said a frustrated MOB Head Coach Tom Keca after the game. “The unfortunate thing is if we’re going to continue to play like this then these are the results we’re going to get.”

An early penalty by the Barons put the AJHL’s number one powerplay to work and they made the MOB pay quickly. Taden Rattie whacked in a loose puck in the crease to give the Eagles (9-4-2) a 1-0 lead 1:49 into the game. On the next shift, Quinton Ong flew down the left wing and fired a shot on goal. The puck bounced off the chest of MOB goalie Josh Dias and before he could cover the puck, Ong was there to knock home the rebound giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead 2:12 into the first period.

“We can’t seem to string together 60 minutes and today (Sunday) we talked non-stop about the start. This was an afternoon game and we needed to make sure that we created our own enthusiasm and get into the game from the get go and two-three minutes in you’re down 2-0 and now you’re chasing,” said Keca.

The Barons (7-6-3) would catch a break late in the period to get themselves on the board and back in the game. Ryan Conroy tried to rim the puck around the glass in Canmore’s zone and the puck hit a stanchion and bounced right in front of the Eagles empty net as Logan Dyck had come out to play the puck. Brendan Stafford tapped in his 3rd of the year to cut the Eagles lead in half.

The Eagles restored their two goal lead 1:32 into the second period when Max Giangualano went end to end, undressing several Oil Barons along the way before beating Dias under the arm.

The MOB continued to battle and chip away at the Eagles and got back within a goal when Reed Morison sniped a shot while on a powerplay. The goal extended Morison’s point streak to six games where he has three goals and nine points in that stretch.

The third period would see the MOB get an early goal as a good forecheck created a turnover. Morison got the puck to Stafford who found Kole Gable in the low face-off circle. Gable wired a shot over the glove of Dyck to tie the game 3-3. Just like Morison, Gable is riding a six game point streak that has seen the 20 year old fire home five goals during the streak.

With the Eagles turning on the pressure in the third with the game tied, the MOB were unable to get the puck out of their zone and Colton Young was left all alone in front of the MOB goal. Dias threw out the pokecheck and the puck went up in the air and trickled across the goal line.

Former Oil Baron Owen Reith would add an empty net goal to give the Eagles the 5-3 victory.

“In the big picture as a coach we have to assess are we playing the right system work and then as the GM of the team we have to really assess do we have the right personnel here,” said Keca whose Barons are 3-5-2 in their last ten games and sit in sixth place in the North Division just past the quarter mark of the AJHL season.

Next up the MOB will head to Drumheller on Friday and then will visit Camrose on Saturday. You can catch all the action on Country 93.3 with Taylor Pope.

MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 post-game show.

Written by: Taylor Pope,

Photo by: Dan Lines