Dressed like doctors out on the ice, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons dissected their patients the Whitecourt Wolverines and came away with a well deserved 4-2 victory.
The MOB are wearing commemorative jerseys this weekend that will be auctioned off with proceeds going towards the Northern Lights Health Foundation.
The jerseys put a spark in the Oil Barons (24-17-8) early as the MOB jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead 6:24 into the game. Reed Morison snapped a shot through the five-hole of Ben Rishaug after some great work below the goal line by Kole Gable and Peter Tomaras to work the puck out front.
The Barons second goal originated after some good work along the boards that allowed Tyler Maser to walk out and rip a shot short side on Rishaug for his fourth goal of the year. That goal would chase Rishaug after he allowed two goals on five shots. Tye Morin came in relief and finished the game with 27 saves.
The Wolverines (19-29-2) couldn’t get anything going in the first period and it took until the 17:37 mark for them to register their first shot on goal but that shot would find the back of the net. Joshua Corrow’s point shot was deflected in the slot by Bjorn Robinson and eluded the pad of Chris Curr to make it a 2-1 game after 20 minutes.
“We got off to the good start 2-0 but having said that, they hit two posts, they get a deflected goal and it’s 2-1 and now all of a sudden all that work you did and I thought that we worked hard…you’re still in a one goal game,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca.
The Barons capitalized on a pair of powerplays in the second period to take a 4-1 lead. Konrad Belcourt wired a shot off the crossbar and in 1:12 into the frame. Ty Ettinger picked up his second assist of the game on the goal and former Wolverine Jaedon Leslie picked up a point in his 200th career AJHL game.
Liam Izyk banged home his 9th of the year at 8:08 of the period after the Barons jammed the puck through the pads of Morin. The puck sat on the goal line for a second before Izyk tapped it in.
For a second straight period, Curr wasn’t overly busy but was called upon when Brayden Labant was hooked on a breakaway. The referee signaled a penalty shot. Labant’s shot clipped Curr and rang off the post and out. It was just the third shot of the game that Curr had faced.
“Any goaltender will tell you when you have those games where you just sit there and get cold and your mind starts to wonder it takes a lot of strength mentally to stay focused and he gets called on to make a save,” said Keca on Curr’s penalty shot save. “Chris has been an outstanding player for us and someone that we can rely on for many different things.”
The Barons cruised to victory in the third period but did have one blunder when Kurtis Labant tipped in a shot with 12 seconds left in the game. Curr who was making his eighth straight start made 14 saves in the win.
The MOB will once again sport their commemorative jerseys on Saturday night as they welcome the Grande Prairie Storm to the Casman Centre. The Storm sit six points back of the Barons for 4th place in the North Division. Bidding on the jerseys will be open until the second intermission and can be done at the Casman Centre or by calling the box office at 780-743-5509.
“Hopefully we got lots of bids already. Definitely a jersey that you want to have, it’s a one and only and all of the proceeds go to a great cause and we appreciate all of the support we get from Re/Max and Lance Bussieres,” said Keca.
Puck drop for the game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines