Storm silenced in 3-0 shutout for MOB (VIDEO & AUDIO)

GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB (February 16, 2013) — Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) secured his third shutout with a 25-save performance as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons downed the Grande Prairie Storm 3-0 on the road Saturday night for their second consecutive win, moving them into a tie in points with the Bonnyville Pontiacs for second place in the AJHL North.

“I think we had given up two chances in the first 40, and if I'm not mistaken, maybe 2 or 3 in the last 20,” recalled a pleased Barons head coach Gord Thibodeau. “You hold a team to under 6 or 7 chances, you've got a real good chance to win.”

“They played real well as a team. I'm just very impressed with the effort.”

A miscue by Grande Prairie goaltender Curtis Skip led to the first goal, when an attempted clearance from outside the crease by the netminder came straight to Barons forward Hayden Dawes (Stony Plain, AB) in the high slot.

On his first shot, Skip slid back into position to make the save, but his defencemen couldn't bail him out on the rebound, as Dawes slid a slow shot into the yawning cage for his 5th point of the season series in just 3 games played.

The second period then belonged to the Barons, who held the Storm to just 3 shots while scoring twice on their 8.

The first came on the MOB's first power play of the night, when a rocket from the right point by Matt Purmal (Merrill, WI) snuck past a screened Skip to double the McMurray lead.

“The biggest issue is getting the puck on net, for him, and not getting it blocked,” said Thibodeau of his Howitzer-launching defenceman. “This is a kid – if he can one-time the puck and get it on net – he's going to score twenty goals.”

“That was just a perfect blast – low, we had a good screen at the net, I think Jordan Clark was screening at the net – it was a very positive movement on the power play, definitely.”

The final tally came just past the halfway mark of the game, on a Grande Prairie power-play. Defenceman Drew Nikirk shattered his stick on a one-time shot from the blueline that was blocked by MOB forward Adam Durkee (Lafayette, CO). He collected the loose puck, skated in on a breakaway, and while falling to the ice after being pushed by the stickless Storm defender, roofed a shot past Skip for a 3-0 lead.

Most impressive of all – Durkee did it with someone else's stick.

“I was forechecking, and my stick got caught on the goalie, so I had to grab another stick from the bench; it happened to be [defenceman] Taylor Graham's,” he recalled. “I got into the zone, and luckily enough the guy broke his stick on the shot; I got it past him, and away I went.”

Durkee's coach was more than impressed with his play, which now has him on a 2-game goal scoring streak.

“Adam's one of those kids – when he's confident, he can really shoot the puck,” said Thibodeau. “We're trying to get him to shoot more, and understand that he can have a big impact.”

Durkee himself didn't have an elaborate explanation for how he scored that perfect of a goal with unfamiliar lumber.

“I closed my eyes – I don't really know. I was just trying to get a shot off, and luckily enough it went in,” he admitted.

Back between the pipes, the 25-save performance was the fourth career shutout for goalie Tanner Jaillet, who improved to 8-1-1 in his last 10 games.

“He looked real strong,” said Thibodeau. “Even though he didn't have as tough a night as he did the last time we were here, he looked confident making the stops. He was big, he didn't allow any rebounds, and when he's got that kind of confidence, it's something that carries through for the whole team.”

Attention now turns to the rematch tomorrow night, to cap off the 6-game season series.

“Fatigue is the thing we're worried about,” Thibodeau cautioned. “We're probably going to be short; we'll be down to five defenceman tomorrow; Mike Green's out. We might be down up front, also, so we've got to understand that we've got to play a simple game.”

“We did a great job of that today, hopefully we can carry that forward tomorrow night.”

Puck drop in Grande Prairie is at 7:30 with pre-game coverage starting at 7:15 on Country 93.3.

Country 93.3 3 stars:
3. Adam Durkee (1 shorthanded goal)
2. Hayden Dawes (1 game-winning goal)
1. Tanner Jaillet (25 shot shutout)