Wark’s OT winner puts Lloyd past MOB 4-3

LLOYDMINSTER, SK (October 6, 2012) – A three-point night from forward Harry Hendrix (Calgary, AB) wasn't enough for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (3-6-1) to overcome a late surge from the Lloydminster Bobcats (2-8-1), as they dropped a 4-3 overtime decision on the road Saturday night.

For Lloydminster, it capped off a two-win weekend comprising their first two victories of the year. The team had lost its first nine of the season.

It was the home side opening the scoring, unlike in their 4-3 regulation win the previous night. At 12:06 of the first period, Barons netminder Ethan Wood (St. Albert, AB) made the save on a wrist shot from 'Cats forward Jason Wark, but Dustin Lebrun followed up on the rebound to give Lloydminster an early lead.

The second period belonged to the visitors, however. Zach Wittenburg (Chestermere, AB) scored his second-ever junior A goal a night after he'd scored his first, blasting a slap shot from the blue line through a crowd in front of Lloydminster goalie Chase Martin to tie the game at 2:49 of the second period.

Hendrix had set up the shot, and five minutes later scored one of his own, an unassisted marker on which he won an offensive zone face-off, battled to the side of the net, and jammed the puck past Martin at 7:14 to give the MOB its first lead.

Just over five minutes later, Hendrix set up the third Barons goal with a wrist shot from the left-wing face-off circle that deflected straight to a waiting Justin Fraser (Hussar, AB) at the right side of the net, who jammed it in to extend the MOB lead to 2. Fraser has now scored in two consecutive games.

The comeback would be cued for Lloyd with 5:01 left in the middle frame, when Braden Crone scored on a power-play wraparound to bring the 'Cats within one.

Midway through the third period, Crone scored his second of the night from the top of the crease after a centring pass from Austin McDonald (Turtleford, SK) to knot the game at 3-3. Crone appeared to have scored a go-ahead goal later in the period for his hat-trick, but it was called off on a high stick.

A three-on-three overtime frame produced a flurry of stellar chances that were steered aside by fantastic goaltending at both ends of the ice. But in the end, it was Jason Wark on a third-chance opportunity firing a shot past Wood to give the Bobcats the extra point, and send the crowd of 1,018 home happy for the second consecutive night.

The Oil Barons went 0-for-3 on their powerplay while the Bobcats went 1-for-7 and outshot the MOB 31-20, including 5-1 in the overtime period.

The Barons continue their road trip Sunday afternoon with a matinee game against the division-leading Bonnyville Pontiacs. Puck drop is 2pm at the RJ Lalonde Arena, with pre-game coverage starting at 1:45 on Country 93.3.

Country 93.3 3 stars:

3. Matthew Marcinew (2 assists)
2. Braden Crone (2 goals)
1. Harry Hendrix (1 goal, 2 assists)