WATCH: Barons fall in showcase opener, 4-3 to Okotoks

SPRUCE GROVE, AB (September 26, 2014) – The Fort McMurray Oil Barons (6-3) allowed two goals in the span of 13 seconds in the first period, and the Okotoks Oilers (2-4-2) never looked back, hanging on for a 4-3 win over the MOB at the AJHL Showcase on Friday night.

A Drew Weich point shot beat Barons goalie Zach Fortin through traffic at the 12:41 mark of the first period to open the scoring for the Oilers. Just 13 seconds later, Troy DeGraaf collected a puck behind the Oil Barons’ net and found Rhett Gardner alone in front for a one-time goal to quickly double the Oiler lead.

The game’s third goal came soon after, as Adam Durkee (Nederland, CO) had a shot from the slot blocked, but chased down the rebound and fired a second-chance opportunity past new Oilers goalie Nic Renyard to get the MOB on the board just 1:11 after the Oilers had finished their 13-second flurry.

The game remained scoreless through the second period as the Barons held the best chance of the middle frame, when Trent Lofthouse (Surrey, BC) was found alone in the slot, but fired a wrist shot right into the logo on the chest of goaltender Renyard, who preserved the one-goal lead.

In the third, the Oilers got off to a hot start when captain Tanner Ockey tipped a point shot into the net, just 31 seconds into the frame, to make it 3-1. But just 1:05 later, Adam Wilcox (Alpharetta, GA) fired a shot in from the side of the Okotoks net to bring the Barons back within one.

A kneeing penalty to MOB captain Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) gave the Oilers a key opportunity, as they found Gardner in the slot again for a perfectly placed wrist shot goal and a 4-2 lead.

The MOB responded on a power play of their own at the 8:41 mark, when Mitch Vanderlaan (Hanwell, NB) put a perfect backdoor pass through the slot to rookie Mark Drohan (Calgary, AB), who notched his first junior hockey goal to make it 4-3.

But that was as close as the Oil Barons would get. The MOB went 1 for 6 on the power play while the Oilers were 1 for 5.

The Barons return to action quickly for a noon-time puck drop against the Calgary Canucks on Saturday. Pre-game coverage starts at 11:45 AM on KAOS 91.1.

KAOS 91.1 3 stars:
1. Rhett Gardner (2 goals)
2. Mitch Vanderlaan (2 assists)
3. Mitch Collett (2 assists)