FORT McMURRAY, AB (September 5, 2014) — Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) scored 3:27 into overtime to lift the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (1-0) to a 2-1 overtime win over the Drayton Valley Thunder (0-0-1) in the MOB's home opener on Friday night.
The Barons battled back from a 1-0 first period deficit, as goaltender Jesse Gordichuk (Penticton, BC) made 43 saves on 44 Thunder shots.
After a strong opening to the first period, the Thunder were the first to crack the scoresheet when rookie Jason Miller corraled a Brayden Harris centering pass in the McMurray slot, and while off-balance, managed to get a wrist shot away that beat Gordichuk for a 1-0 Thunder lead, in a first period in which Drayton Valley outshot the home side 14-6.
In the second, the Barons would turn the tide on the shot count, outshooting the Thunder 21-15, but could not beat Thunder goalie Marc-Olivier Daigle, who was nearly flawless in regulation time.
But just 17 seconds into the third period, the Thunder paid for a costly mistake, when a defenceman turned the puck over to MOB forward Danton Ayotte (Wetaskiwin, AB), who cut in front of the net and lifted a high wrist shot past the glove hand of Daigle for the first Oil Barons goal of the season.
That tie score would remain until the extra frame, when Gordichuk began a major Barons rally with a spectacular glove save on a Trevor Poirier wrist shot. On the ensuing faceoff, Adam Durkee (Nederland, CO) won the draw to team captain Houcher, who skated his way through centre ice, gained the Thunder line, and then pulled off a quick deke to get around a Thunder defenceman.
All alone on a breakaway, Houcher fired a wrist shot past Daigle's glove to send the raucous crowd of nearly 1,600 home happy, as the team's captain was mobbed at the halfboard after finishing his celebration.
The Barons are back in action tomorrow night to complete the season-opening double header against Drayton Valley.
Puck drop is at 8 PM with pre-game coverage starting at 7:45 on the new broadcast home of the Oil Barons, KAOS 91.1.
KAOS 91.1 Three Stars:
3. Jetlan Houcher (1 overtime, game-winning goal)
2. Marc-Olivier Daigle (39 saves, 41 shots)
1. Jesse Gordichuk (43 saves, 44 shots)