FORT McMURRAY, AB (February 14, 2015) – Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) scored goals in the third period and the eventual shootout, as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (28-21-5) beat the Calgary Canucks 4-3.
Though the first period ended in a scoreless tie, the Barons controlled the pace and the play for the majority of the frame, outshooting the Canucks 12-3.
In the second, the Barons went on a powerplay just under six minutes, and scored with two seconds left in the man advantage when Adam Durkee (Nederland, CO) banged in a rebound at the top of the crease, giving the Barons a 1-0 lead.
The Barons would extend the lead under two minutes later on a similar-looking play, when a point shot from Brett McNeil (Halifax, NS) bounced off goaltender Colin Cooper's mask and into the skates of Austin Holmes (Calgary, AB), who banged it in for the 2-0 lead.
But the Canucks replied off the next faceoff, when Chase McMurphy was sent in alone, and beat Brett Lewchuk (Saskatoon, SK) to cut the lead to 2-1.
Five-and-a-half minutes later, Cade Owad split the Barons defence and backhanded one past Lewchuk, to tie the game 2-2.
In the third, Landon Welykholowa (Calgary, AB) picked off an errant pass, and fed Houcher for the goal 16 seconds in, giving the MOB the 3-2 lead.
But just over eight minutes later, the Canucks came back again, when Josh Betinol converted on Connor McCallum's centering feed, tying the game 3-3 and sending it to overtime.
In OT, the Canucks got an opportunity with 1:08 to play, when the Barons were penalized for having too many men on the ice.
But Lewchuk shut the door, keeping it tied after 65 minutes and sending it to the shootout.
Once there, Lewchuk stoned three shooters in a row – Tyler Benko, Chase McMurphy, and Bryson Gore – while Houcher's goal for the MOB was enough to seal the victory.
Cooper stopped 39 Barons shots in the tough loss, while Lewchuk made 21 saves in the victory.
The Barons win was coupled with wins for both Lloydminster and Bonnyville, so the MOB remain five points back of the Bobcats for second place with two games in hand, and one point back of the Pontiacs for third place, with one game in hand.
Up next, the Barons hit the road next week for games in Grande Prairie (Tuesday), Whitecourt (Wednesday), and Drayton Valley (Saturday and Sunday).
You can catch all the action starting Tuesday night at 7:15 on KAOS 91.1.
KAOS 91.1 3 Stars:
3. Chase McMurphy (1G)
2. Colin Cooper (39 sv)
1. Brett McNeil (2A)