FORT McMURRAY, AB (February 4, 2015) – The Fort McMurray Oil Barons (27-20-5) scored twice in the third period, and prevailed in a wild eleven round shootout, beating the Bonnyville Pontiacs 4-3 on Wednesday night.
The game started off strong for Bonnyville, when a shot from Braiden Doucette took a sharp bounce off the back boards and right onto the stick of Evan Warmington, who gave the Pontiacs the lead 24 seconds into the game.
That score held until the second period was nearly five minutes old, when the Pontiacs had another fortuitous bounce, as Chad Hurtubise banked a puck past Zach Fortin (St. Jerome, PQ) from behind the goal line for a 2-0 lead.
But the Barons got one back, as Adam Durkee (Nederland, CO) buried a shot over the left shoulder of Troy Trombley, cutting the lead to 2-1.
In the third, it was the Barons turn to score in the first minute, when Luc Lalor (St. Albert, AB) needed only 14 seconds to tip one past Trombley, tying the game 2-2.
Four-and-a-half minutes after that, Austin Holmes (Calgary, AB) gave the MOB their first lead on the night, banging in a loose puck at the top of the crease.
But the Pontiacs didn't back down, as Alden Dupuis got the Pontiacs back on the board under two minutes after that, tying the game up at 3.
Just past the midway point of the third, the game took a nastier turn, when Mitch Fritz plastered Wil Tomchuk (Fort McMurray, AB) from behind into the corner boards, drawing a full scrum that would result in 38 PIMs between the two teams.
After staying tied through 60 minutes, a back and forth overtime that featured almost no whistles would solve nothing, a fact emphasized by a Barons' 4-on-3 penalty kill to start off the extra frame.
The shootout got off to a hot start, when Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) and Doucette scored on the first opportunity for their respective teams.
After each team missed twice, Lalor buried one for the Barons, forcing Bonnyville down to the wire.
But Bobby McMann connected, which carried the shootout into its fifth round.
Six rounds later, the teams were still tied, especially thanks to a sprawling toe save from Fortin on Brady Bakke.
Finally in round number 11, Mark Drohan (Calgary, AB) deked and buried one under the pad of Trombley, putting the MOB back in front.
That would seal the win, as on the very next shot, Fortin stoned Ryan Piche to end the game.
Trombley made 32 stops over 65 minutes to take the loss, while Fortin stopped 26 for the big win.
With the win, the MOB hold onto third place in the North, sitting two points behind the Lloydminster Bobcats, two points ahead of Sherwood Park, and three points ahead of the Pontiacs.
Up next for the Barons, a full weekend off before coming back home to the Casman Centre on Februrary 13 and 14, against the Brooks Bandits and Calgary Canucks respectively.
Both games start at 8:00, and tickets are available at the Casman Centre box office, online at tickets.oilbarons.com, or by phone at 780 743 5509.
KAOS 91.1 3 Stars:
3. Luc Lalor (1G/1A)
2. Troy Trombley (32 sv)
1. Adam Durkee (1G/1A)