FORT McMURRAY, AB (January 10, 2015) – Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) scored a hat trick, including the game winner in overtime, as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (25-15-4) survived a third period scare to beat the Drayton Valley Thunder 4-3.
Before the game, the Barons had a ceremony to retire Scottie Upshall's #7 jersey.
Among the special guests in attendance for the ceremony were Upshall's brother and family, former coach Fran Gow, and Florida Panthers teammates Shawn Thornton and Shane O'Brien.
The Thunder were the first to get on the score sheet, when Braden Jakubowski banged in a rebound on the powerplay for the 1-0 lead.
Moments later, the Thunder appeared to have their second of the night when Brayden Harris deflected the puck past Zach Fortin (St. Jérome, PQ).
But after reviewing the call, the referees called back the goal, as Harris made contact with a high stick.
With just over three minutes left and the Barons on a powerplay of their own, Houcher posted up at the top of the right circle, and blasted a one-timer past Garrett Mason to tie the game at 1.
In the second, the Barons continued to make the Thunder pay on the man advantage.
Just past the halfway mark, Logan Franz (Medicine Hat, AB) batted a puck out of mid-air, to give the MOB a 2-1 lead.
Less than four minutes later, Houcher buried a cross-crease pass from Trent Lofthouse (Surrey, BC) for the MOB's third powerplay goal of the game, and a 3-1 lead after 40.
In the third the Thunder came out firing, when Trevor Poirier beat Fortin to a rebound in the crease, cutting the lead to 3-2.
Just over a minute later, Jakubowski scored his second of the game off a rebound in front, tying the game at 3.
The Barons would shut down the Thunder for the remainder of the period, forcing the game into overtime.
And just 31 seconds in, Brett McNeil (Halifax, NS) poke-checked the puck onto the stick of Houcher, who streaked up the left side, deked into the slot, and backhanded a shot past Mason to give the Barons the 4-3 win.
Fortin made 32 saves in a big win for the MOB, while Mason had 21 saves in the loss.
For Houcher, it was the second overtime winner against Drayton Valley this season.
Back on September 5 in the home opener, Houcher's goal gave the Barons a 2-1 overtime win over Drayton Valley.
With the win, the Barons vault over the Lloydminster Bobcats for second place in the North division.
Next up for the Barons, they hit the road next weekend after four home games to start 2015.
The MOB are in Sherwood Park on Friday at 7:00, and head to Bonnyville for a 7:30 puck drop on Saturday (January 16-17).
You can catch all the action starting at 6:45 Friday night on KAOS 91.1.
KAOS 91.1 3 Stars:
3. Mark Drohan (1A)
2. Braden Jakubowski (2G)
1. Jetlan Houcher (3G)