The Fort McMurray Oil Barons dug themselves a hole Saturday night against the Camrose Kodiaks and were never able to climb back out as the Kodiaks handed the MOB their first loss of the season 3-2.
The Barons (5-1-0) trailed 3-0 heading into the third period and were bale to get two back with goals from Jake Berry and Owen Reith but it wasn’t enough as they came away with a 1-1 record at the Alberta Junior Hockey League Showcase in Camrose.
The Kodiaks (3-2-2) were coming off an embarrassing 10-4 loss the night prior to the Whitecourt Wolverines and looked like a team determined early on.
A loose puck rolled down into the Barons zone and Tate Coughlin raced down the ice beating the Barons defender. Coughlin threw the puck on net and beat an unsuspecting Chris Curr through the skates to give the home side the 1-0 lead 6:36 into the game.
The Kodiaks continued to come at the MOB and a scramble in front of the goal led to Brock Bremer popping in his 4th of the year to put the Kodiaks up by two after 20 minutes.
The Oil Barons turned the tides in the second period, generating several good scoring chances but were unable to beat Landon Pavlisin. Owen Reith was buzzing all night for the MOB and had the two best chances of the period. The Whistler, BC native deflected a Curtis Roach pass just over the crossbar and later was robbed on a breakaway by the outstretched leg of Pavlisin.
“We had a couple tough breaks in the first two periods on the goal from the corner and defensive errors but apart from that I felt we played fairly strong,” said Reith of his team’s play.
Despite carrying the play, the Barons conceded a third goal with 35 seconds left in the period when they were caught up ice and the Kodiaks broke away on a two on one. Kyler Kupka found Matt Dykstra back door who beat Curr for his third goal of the year.
Finding themselves in unfamiliar territory down 3-0, the MOB came out hard in the third period and cut the lead to two 1:36 into the frame. Shane Fraser won a face-off back to Jake Berry and his quick shot fooled Pavlisin. The goal was Berry’s 2nd and the defenceman now has five points in his last three games.
The MOB weren’t done there as an aggressive forecheck by Will Conley and Fraser created a turnover and the puck found Reith in the low slot. Reith’s shot beat Pavlisin on the glove side for his first career AJHL goal to make it a 3-2 game.
“It’s really good playing with them, they’re two very experienced players who are helping me get ahead in the game early and they’re fast and I’m just trying to keep up and stay with them,” said Reith of playing with Fraser and Conley.
A late flurry from the MOB gave them a chance but Pavlisin turned aside 41 shots to end the Barons five game winning streak and snapped the Kodiaks three game slide.
Next up for the MOB they will host the Spruce Grove Saints for a pair of games at the Casman Centre Friday and Saturday night. Puck drop for both games is at 7:30 p.m. The MOB will then welcome the Bonnyville Pontiacs to town for a Thanksgiving Monday afternoon game at 2:00 p.m.