FORT McMURRAY, AB (August 17, 2014) — Danton Ayotte (Wetaskiwin, AB) had two goals and two assists as Team Gold beat Team Blue 6-3 in the Fort McMurray Oil Barons' annual Blue-Gold Intrasquad game on Sunday afternoon at the Casman Centre.
The game pit all 30 players present at the team's main camp against one another in one of their last chances to earn a spot on the 2014-15 team that will host the Western Canada Cup.
Barons captain Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) opened the scoring 15:56 into the first period for Team Gold on a wrist shot set up by Ayotte for his first point of the night. Adam Durkee (Nederland, CO) had the second assist.
Less than a minute later, rookie Oil Barons forward Jordan Xavier (Calgary, AB) was sprung on a breakaway by second-year defenceman Brett McNeil (Halifax, NS), and made no mistake on a backhand shot to make it 2-0 Gold.
Team Blue got on the board with 1:05 left in the opening period when Mitch Vanderlaan (Hanwell, NB) scored his first of the game, assisted by fellow returnee Adam Wilcox (Alpharetta, GA) and rookie Jackson McKinstry (Calgary, AB).
In the second, Gold pulled away with three consecutive goals. McNeil scored on a perfectly placed top-right corner shot just 91 seconds in, and 39 seconds after that, Ayotte converted a net-front chance to make it 4-1. At 5:20, Ayotte got his second of the game on a power play goal, while Blue responded just over a minute and a half later when Kole Gable (Fort McMurray, AB) pulled them within three.
But before the period was out, John Teets (Fairbanks, AK) got Gold's final goal on a breakaway backhand shot at the 16:14 mark to make it 6-2.
In the third, Team Blue pulled back to a three-goal deficit at 11:10 when Vanderlaan scored his second of the game on a close-range short side shot. But that was as close as Blue would get.
The Oil Barons' focus now turns to the pre-season opener, which is at home this year when the Bonnyville Pontiacs visit on Friday night.
Puck drop is at 8:00 PM at the Casman Centre, with tickets just $10.