The Fort McMurray Oil Barons put forth their most complete 60 minutes of hockey in a number of weeks Saturday night and it paid off as the team snapped their season long seven game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the visiting Camrose Kodiaks.
?We needed this as bad as we needed any game so far in my short time here,? said MOB Head Coach Bob Beatty on ending the losing streak. ?They came through and they battled hard. We needed all four lines and six D and Freddy (Evan Fradette) was exceptional ? it was a big win for us no question.?
After a tough loss the night before to the Brooks Bandits, the MOB stormed out of the gate in the first period in front of 1,183 fans at the Casman Centre.
The newest Oil Baron Colson Gengenbach got the ball rolling early as 5:33 in he buried his first as an Oil Baron from in tight.
Another new face for the MOB doubled the lead five minutes later when Ethan Jones sent a laser into the top left corner for his second of the year. Jesse Burchart and Luke Harvie drew the assists with some nice passing off the rush.
?It gives us a breath of fresh air. They?re good young guys, real exceptional people with great attitudes and you could see it tonight with the effort they put out,? said Beatty on his three newest faces (Gengenbach, Jones and Riley Bodnarchuk).
The Kodiaks would have a strong start to the second period and tied the game 7:38 into the period with goals from Carson Welke and Jacob Kendall.
A late penalty though gave the Oil Barons a chance to head into the break with the lead. The MOB worked the puck around the outside and with nine seconds left in the period, Michael Hodge made a quick move into the middle from the left face-off and snapped a shot off the glove of Griffin Bowerman and in for his team leading 10th goal of the season.
?I like our chemistry, I like our attitude and going on a seven game losing streak is hard on people and this weekend we put out and stuck together and got some results,? said Beatty.
The third period has not been kind to the Oil Barons of late as they have struggled to close out games. The Kodiaks threw everything they could at the MOB goal but Evan Fradette shut the door making 14 saves in the final frame and 31 in the game to pick up the victory.
Tyler Wallace sealed the win with an empty net goal with 32 seconds remaining.
?We didn?t take any foolish penalties and we didn?t make a lot of bad pinches or bring the puck south ? we stuck to the game plan,? said Beatty on what was different in the third period Saturday that allowed the MOB to hold on to the lead and close out the win.
The MOB will hit the road next weekend as they head to Spruce Grove Friday before taking on the Drayton Valley Thunder on Saturday and Sunday. You can listen to all the action on Country 93.3 with Taylor Pope.
The MOB made another move this week acquiring 18 year old forward Josh Zinger from the BCHL?s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Red Deer, AB native has two goals and three points in 13 games this season.
?He has great speed, a very high compete level and is a versatile forward who can play all three positions. We?re looking forward to be adding another young guy with his skill set and compete level to our line-up,? said Beatty on the addition to Zinger.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com
Photo by: Dan Lines