(Photo Supplied: Fort McMurray Oil Barons defenceman Jayden Pannu, centre with cage, celebrates his first ever Junior ‘A’ goal with his teammates in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Grande Prairie Storm at the Casman Centre on March. 4, 2016. Dan Lines / FORT MCMURRAY OIL BARONS)
Audio: Oil Barons Assistant Coach Mike Brodeur discusses the loss on the ROCK 97.9 post-game show.
With nothing to play for but pride the Grande Prairie Storm managed a squeeze a 5-4 shootout win over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons at the Casman Centre on Friday night.
The MOB controlled play in the opening frame outshooting their north division rivals 12-3, but couldn’t solve an affiliate goaltender by the name of Cody Campbell.
The second frame saw a five goal explosion as the Storm jumped out to a two-nothing lead within the first 7:35 thanks to goals by Austin Parmiter and Luke Mahura.
Then the Oil Barons managed to score two goals within 17 seconds, Taner Miller notched his fifth of the campaign and Jayden Pannu banged in his first ever Junior ‘A’ goal in to tie the game at deuces. With his 13th goal of the season Brett Edwards put the MOB ahead 3-2 heading into the third period.
“It was an exciting game, we had some lulls that we can’t have going into playoffs,” said Oil Barons Assistant Coach Mike Brodeur. “We had five minutes to start each period where it really kicked our butt, we really need to be better in those first five minutes, we really need to be aggressive we were a little bit too passive in certain situations.”
That five minute lapse cost the MOB to start the third as Michael Clarke notched a game tying goal just ten seconds in, then the Storm took a 4-3 lead with an unassisted goal by Josh Zablocki at 6:36. Shawn Weber tied the game about five minutes later as things would stay deadlocked all the way to the shootout.
“When we were in the first period, they didn’t even touch the puck because we were forcing everything to happen and when we do that we win, and we play well and we actually dominate the game. We find ways to sit back and watch for a little while and that’s when we get into trouble.”
Eric Szudor made 36 saves on 40 shots, while Campbell turned aside 34 of 38 shots faced including Brett Edwards, Will Conley and Shawn Weber in the shootout, although Weber did hit the crossbar in his attempt to elongate the shootout.
Luke Mahura scored the shootout winning goal with a great deke around Szudor.
With a 1-0 loss to Drayton Valley Friday night the Lloydminster Bobcats ran out of track to catch the Wolverines for second place in the division. That means that Fort McMurray will take on Whitecourt in the first round.
The Northstar Lincoln Food Bank and Fan pots will both be handed out during the rematch Saturday. The Food Bank pot is $3,150, while one lucky fan at the Casman Centre chosen at random will walk out of the rink with a cheque for $1,050.
Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m., you can catch the pre-game show beginning at 7:40 p.m. on ROCK 97.9.