DRAYTON VALLEY, AB (February 22, 2015) — The Fort McMurray Oil Barons (30-21-7) held a 2-1 lead late in the second period on Sunday afternoon, but saw it slip away en route to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Drayton Valley Thunder on the road.
With the loss, the Barons fell out of contention for 2nd place in the AJHL North, and will need to pull ahead of the Bonnyville Pontiacs to avoid a 4th-place finish in the division.
The Thunder opened the scoring at the 2:40 mark of the game when forward Noah Kieser fired a wrist shot from the right-wing faceoff circle past MOB goalie Brett Lewchuk (Saskatoon, SK).
In the second, a flurry of power play opportunities for Drayton Valley tested Lewchuk, but the netminder kept his team in it long enough for Mitch Vanderlaan (Hanwell, NB) to tie the game on a high slot wrister on the MOB’s first power play of the game.
Then with just over two minutes left in the period, rookie Jackson McKinstry (Calgary, AB) deposited a rebound past Drayton Valley goalie Marc-Olivier Daigle to give the Barons their first lead of the weekend.
But the Thunder responded less than two minutes later, when Jordan Taupert danced around a McMurray defender and potted a breakaway shot past Lewchuk to restore a 2-2 tie.
In the third, though the Oil Barons outshot Drayton Valley 13-11, it was the Thunder converting on two chances: the first, a Hayden Dawes tap-in of a loose puck just 59 seconds in, and the second another Taupert breakaway at the 15:14 mark to give the Thunder their eighth consecutive win.
The Oil Barons return home Friday and Saturday nights for the final two games of the 2014-15 regular season, hosting the Lloydminster Bobcats. Puck drop for both games is at 8 PM, with tickets available at the Casman Centre box office, by phone at 780-743-5509, or online at tickets.oilbarons.com.
KAOS 91.1 3 stars:
1. Jordan Taupert (2G/1A)
2. Hayden Dawes (1G/1A)
3. Marc-Olivier Daigle (30sv/32sh)