DRAYTON VALLEY, AB (February 21) – The Fort McMurray Oil Barons (30-21-6) forced overtime late in the third, but couldn't complete the comeback, falling 3-2 to the Drayton Valley Thunder in the extra frame.
The game got off to a slow start, with the teams combining for just 13 shots and no goals through the opening 20.
In the second, the Barons got into some early penalty trouble, when after an early kill, Zach McNeill (Calgary, AB) got his stick up on former Baron Hayden Dawes, drawing a double minor penalty.
On the powerplay, Trevor Poirier one-timed one past Zach Fortin (St. Jérome, PQ) for the 1-0 lead.
11 minutes later, the Barons were able to shift some momentum around, when Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) scored his 39th goal of the season, tying the game 1-1 after 40.
In the third, each team had quality scoring chances, with Fortin and his counterpart Marc Olivier Daigle both making quality saves.
With 3:32 to play, the Barons looked to get a break, when Jordan Taupert was called for tripping.
But 37 seconds in, Jacob Wachowicz lead an odd-man rush, feeding Jason Miller who buried it for the 2-1 lead.
But the Barons weren't finished, and with Fortin pulled for an extra attacker, Brett McNeil (Halifax, NS) blocked a clearing attempt, lead the rush, and dished to Jackson McKinstry (Calgary, AB), who one-timed it past Daigle to tie the game at 2-2.
In overtime, the Thunder won a faceoff in their own end, took the puck up ice, and dished to Matt Benko, whose shot hit Fortin's arm before trickling over the line for the winning goal.
Fortin made 32 saves in a hard-fought loss, while Daigle picked up 19 saves in the win.
With the overtime loss, the Barons pick up a single point, and are now tied with Bonnyville for third – though they drop four points back of Lloydminster, who beat Grande Prairie.
Up next, the Thunder and Barons finish the season series in Drayton Valley on Sunday afternoon.
Puck drop is set for 2:30 with the pre-game show at 2:15 on KAOS 91.1
KAOS 91.1 3 Stars:
3. Marc Olivier Daigle (19 sv)
2. Brett McNeil (1A)
1. Jason Miller (1G)