Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca discusses the loss below:
Another loss in heart-breaking fashion this time 4-3 in overtime to Bonnyville.
The Oil Barons fought back from a two goal deficit in the first period to tie things up heading into the second. Then a Logan Franz goal with an empty net and just 28 seconds remaining in the third period tied the game at three. Surely a sign that a first win was to come, but for Keca and the MOB unfortunately overtime didn’t end with the puck in the Pontiacs goal.
“The effort was good at times, I didn’t like the five penalties in the third period he didn’t call anything in the first two and then we get five penalty kills that we have to make. What that does unfortunately is it doesn’t allow your players to get into a rhythm,” said Tom Keca, Head Coach on the ROCK 97.9 post-game show.
Ravi Dattani was incredible stopping 44 of 48 shots faced, a number of them circus like saves but again no matter how good the goaltending has been this season, the Oil Barons can’t keep the puck out of the net when it really matters.
The Pontiacs opened the scoring just 42 seconds in, and they’d take a 2-0 lead under seven minutes later as the MOB looked completely lost in the first ten minutes of the first frame. Bobby McMann and Kyler Hehn were the ‘Yaks goal scorers in that order.
Then an Oil Barons power-play marker from Mark Drohan pulled the MOB within one, Landon Welykholowa was given a goal at 15:51. The 19-year-old leading point getter for the Oil Barons split the defence and put the puck over the shoulder of Olivier Charest, the puck went off the cross bar then down on the ice. The referee Rob Cowan called no goal the goal judge however lit the goal light. At the next break in play the goal was reviewed and Cowan decided that Welykholowa did indeed score.
Keca thought the effort was there at times, but not for the full sixty plus minutes, “What they need to understand is that every single battle no matter where it takes place on the ice it matters, because it’s either going to create momentum for you or put you on your heels.”
In overtime both teams traded chances including a breakaway for the slick puck-handling Ben Sharf.
“This is no blame at all but Sharf has got the game on his stick, he’s got a breakaway and a step on the guy he’s dazzled us this year a couple times by sliding it between the wickets and I honestly thought that he was going to do it again. It’s unfortunate that a battle 175 feet away from your end ends up costing you a valuable point.”
A lost face-off in the offensive zone saw Connor McCallum get stuck behind the play leading to a two-on-one the other way where Bobby McMann scored the game winner.
“We have to win sooner or later don’t we? We gotta get a bounce sooner or later and we’re just going to keep plugging away. I love the players in that room, I honestly like the vision of what this team is going to look like. But having said that we are also cognisant of the fact that we have to start getting results or else it’s going to be harder and harder and harder.”
Tom Keca pulled the trigger on a deal this morning bringing in a 6’2, 215lb forward Lindsey MacLellan. The 19-year-old was acquired from the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
“Lindsay’s a power forward that will add a physical presence and some scoring to our lineup,” said Keca in the club’s press release. “He has family ties to Fort McMurray and we’re excited to welcome him to the Oil Barons and back to Northern Alberta.”
MacLellan a Penticton, B.C. native split his time between the Virden Oil Capitals of the MJHL and the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. In 58 games he collected 18 points and 107 penalty minutes.
The Oil Barons host the Drumheller Dragons at the Casman Centre at 8 p.m. on Friday.