Fort McMurray Oil Barons goalie Eric Szudor has had some tremendous games throughout this season for the MOB but Saturday night’s performance against the Drumheller Dragons may have been his best yet.
Szudor stopped 40 shots fired his way including a save of the year candidate off his former teammate Brett Edwards in the third period to help the Barons (38-10-3) win their sixth straight game with a 3-2 win.
The Dragons (27-21-4) outshot the Barons 42-18 in the game and certainly carried the majority of the play but every time the puck came near the MOB goal, there was Szudor making a timely save.
Drumheller opened the scoring 15:44 into the first period when an odd man rush resulted in a partial breakaway for Edwards. He pulled the puck to his backhand from in tight and slipped it past the outstretched pad of Szudor to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead.
The Barons would respond with just over a minute remaining in the first period when Curtis Roach’s shot found its way through and beat a screened Hunter Virostek.
The second period saw the Barons march to the penalty box as they took five minor penalties in the frame. Despite the lopsided powerplay time, it would be the Barons who struck on the man advantage.
Merritt Oszytko flipped a pass to Roach who found Will Conley at the top of the face-off circle. Conley ripped a shot off the far goal post and in for his 40th goal of the season. Conley picked up an assist on the first Barons goal and with the two point night now has 12 points during a six game point streak.
The Dragons leading scorer Jordan Taupert would tie the game 2-2 with a quick move to beat Szudor at the 10:39 mark of the frame just as a Dragons powerplay had ended. The Dragons outshot the MOB 14-3 in the second period.
In the third, Taner Miller beat Virostek with a wrist shot from the right point to give the MOB the lead 3-2 with 8:26 left.
Szudor did the rest stopping all 14 shots in the period as he picked up his 24th win of the year and won for a 5th straight start. His biggest save was off a wrap around from Alex Rotundo. Szudor got the initial shot with his toe before the puck slid to the other side of the goal where Edwards’ shot went off Szuodr’s other skate and popped right back to Edwards who fired a shot at an empty cage before Szudor’s glove hand came out of nowhere to keep the puck out.
The MOB have nine games left in the regular season, all of which are against North Division opponents. The MOB finished with a 14-3-1 record against the South Division this season.
The Barons will finish up their road trip Sunday afternoon as they travel to Sherwood Park to take on the Crusaders. Pre-Game Show starts at 2:00 p.m. on Country 93.3.