The Fort McMurray Oil Barons welcomed the Calgary Mustangs to town Friday night and came away with a 4-1 win to extend their winning streak to five games.
With the win the MOB (29-10-1) stayed within one point of the Whitecourt Wolverines for first place in the North Division.
The Mustangs (6-33-2) arrived with several injuries and played with just 15 skaters including six former Oil Barons.
The Barons would find the back of the net first on a goal from Toby Shattler at 6:37 of the first period. The 20 year old was left all alone in front of the Mustang goal and received a pass from JC Thivierge before sliding home his sixth goal of the year and fourth in the last five games.
The Mustangs would push back and catch the MOB on a defensive zone lapse. Tayden Woods won the puck down low and fed Yuri Chernichko who spotted Ethan Kopyczyn at the side of the goal. Kopyczyn made no mistake, chipping the puck over a sprawled Josh Williams to tie the game 1-1.
The MOB would restore their one goal lead 4:29 into the second period on a goal from Thivierge. Jackson McKinstry stripped the Mustang defenceman and found Thivierge streaking in on the far side of the ice. He walked in and ripped a shot into the top corner over Michael Barabash for his 10th goal of the year.
Good Pressure in the offensive zone would lead to another Oil Barons goal late in the frame. Shane Fraser dug the puck loose and got it to Brandon Ralph who ripped home his team leading 16th goal of the year to give the MOB a 3-1 lead.
The Barons continued to pour on the pressure in the third period, forcing Barabash to make several huge saves to try and keep the game close. One shot would beat him in the period off the stick of Thivierge. Jack Hamly won a face-off straight to Thivierge who took two strides and wired his second goal of the game past Barabash. The goal was the fifth powerplay marker of the year for Thivierge and second three point night of the season for the Ontario native.
Williams would shut the door the rest of the way, highlighted by a glove save off former MOB defenceman Salvatore Scalise. Williams improved to 11-0-0 on the year and 19-0-0 in his AJHL career as his unbeaten record continues.
The Barons will host the Calgary Canucks Saturday night at the Casman Centre. Pre-game show begins at 7:45 p.m. with Taylor Pope on Country 93.3.
Written by: Taylor Pope, mymcmurray.com.
Photographer: Dan Lines