Tune in to Tom Keca’s post-game interview from the ROCK 97.9 broadcast.
Cody Hodgson could be the answer to an Oil Barons related trivia question. The 18-year-old forward scored the first goal of the 2015-16 season for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons 5:09 into the third period in a 2-1 loss to the Spruce Grove Saints.
“The joke we made after the second intermission was that we might go sixty games without scoring,” said Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca. “We’ve got a young club, I thought the compete level was a lot better today, I thought that we had some chances.”
The Saints opened and closed the scoring with power-play goals, the first from Cole Nicholson at 5:44 of the second frame, the final from Saints captain Tyler Busch at 15:31.
Eric Szudor was incredible in his first Junior ‘A’ start, the 18-year-old netminder stopped 36 of 38 shots fired his way, a number of them high-end scoring chances and looks he’ll provide a bright future between the pipes for the MOB.
“Give full credit to Spruce Grove, they’re a very good team and I thought we that we did a good job of staying in this game and you know Eric [Szudor] did what a good goaltender is supposed to do, he gave us an opportunity to win but we just weren’t able to capitalize,” said Keca.
Brett Zarowny picked up the win between the pipes for the Saints while stopping 19 of 20 shots.
Once again the Saints scored two power-play markers tonight they did so on four occasions. Spruce Grove scored four of five goals in the two game series on the man-advantage. The Oil Barons were held off the scoresheet on the power-play with four opportunities.
If the Oil Barons are going to be a competitive team they’ll need to score more than one goal over two games, on this night the young line of Shane Fraser, Damon Porter, and McMurrayite Jason Hamilton were impressive.
“Full credit to Fraser, [Hamilton], and Porter they were great and we go ice-time on a game to game basis, they deserved extra ice time and they got it […] they were our most effective five-man unit.”
The line of Shawn Weber, Connor McCallum, and Landon Welykholowa had a number of great chances, especially Welykholowa who used his big frame to bully his way through defenders into the slot. While a projected scoring line of Logan Franz, Austin Holmes, and Jackson McKinstry was mostly quiet for the second night in a row.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Oil Barons as they’ll take a day of tomorrow ahead of a week of practices leading into the first road trip of the season. “We didn’t get any favours with the scheduling when you look at even next weekend we’re in Sherwood Park, we’re in Spruce Grove again and then in Camrose which is going to be one of the top teams,” said the MOB Head Coach.
All three games will be broadcast live on ROCK 97.9