FORT MCMURRAY, AB (November 22, 2013) — It didn't take the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (22-2-2) long to rebound from a 5-3 road loss in Sherwood Park, as the MOB returned home in style Friday night, downing the visiting Whitecourt Wolverines 3-1 in front of 1,484 fans at the Casman Centre.
A goaltending clinic between Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) of Fort McMurray and the newly-acquired Mac Engel of Whitecourt saw both make highlight reel saves in what could easily have been a high scoring affair. Engel flashed the glove hand on multiple occasions, including a third-period chance for Barons captain Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB), whose wrist shot from the right-wing hashmarks towards an open net was somehow stymied by a diving Whitecourt netminder. Jaillet too stood tall on multiple point blank opportunities to maintain narrow McMurray leads.
The scoring was opened 13:12 into the first period on the Barons' second power play of the night. John Teets (Fairbanks, AK) fired a wrist shot from the left-wing faceoff circle that was stopped by the left pad of Engel. But a scramble ensued in front of the Whitecourt net that ended with the puck rolling right back to Teets, whose second chance wrister found the back of the net for a 1-0 MOB lead.
In the second period, the adventurous Engel was burned for his propensity for playing the puck when Hayden Dawes (Stony Plain, AB) snuck in behind the Whitecourt cage, stripped the netminder of the puck, and wrapped it around into an open net to double the Barons' lead.
Whitecourt made things interesting at 13:20 of the third when Sam Lawson's close-angle backhander beat Jaillet to make it 2-1; but that would be as close as Whitecourt would get.
Just over two minutes later, rookie forward Danton Ayotte (Wetaskiwin, AB) worked his way out of the right-wing corner and tucked a quick wrist shot past Engel short side to give the MOB a comfortable two goal cushion and a 3-1 final score.
The Barons went 1 for 5 on the powerplay and a perfect 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, while shots on goal were tied 30-30 through the 60 minutes.
The rematch goes tomorrow night at 8 PM when the Wolverines return to the Casman Centre to cap off the weekend set.
Country 93.3 3 stars:
1. John Teets (1 goal)
2. Tanner Jaillet (29 saves, 30 shots)
3. Mac Engel (27 saves, 30 shots)