It was another winning weekend for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (14-2-1) as they took four out of a possible six points after finishing the road trip with a 4-2 win in Drayton Valley Sunday.
After thumping the Thunder (2-15-0) a night earlier, Drayton Valley hung tough with the MOB in a game that turned into a goaltending clinic. Chris Curr and Tyman Edelkoort went save for save with both teams pouring on the shots, combining for 100 total in the game.
“It wasn’t our prettiest game but was nice to get the two points,” said Curr on the win.
MOB head coach Tom Keca gave Curr the nod once again after a strong effort Saturday night, marking the second time this season the rookie goalie has earned back to back starts.
“It’s always nice to get back to back games and I felt pretty good here this weekend.” said Curr who made 41 saves in picking up his 5th win of the season.
For the second time in three games the Barons allowed the first goal of the game as a turnover at the offensive blueline resulted in an odd man rush for the Thunder. Josh Borynec finished off a two on one feed from John Elliot to open the scoring 15:39 into the first period.
That lead was short lived as the MOB responded 33 seconds later when Ryan Cox banked a shot off the Thunder defenceman’s skate from below the goal line and the puck ended up in behind Edelkoort. The goal was Cox’s 9th of the year and third in two games.
The Barons powerplay had a breakthrough game Saturday, scoring four times and nearly matching their season total of five powerplay goals. They would add another powerplay marker when Taner Miller banged home a Liam Izyk rebound for his second goal of the season to put the Barons up 2-1 heading into the intermission.
“I think we’re just trying to bare down more, crisp tape to tape passes, we’re getting shots through and we’re much harder on pucks down low and we’re getting pucks back to the point and we’re setting back up and we’re getting more shots so it’s starting to come now,” said Jack Hamly on the team’s powerplay success over the last two games.
Hamly has had the hot hand for the MOB over the last two weeks and his scoring prowess continued in the second. Ryan Cox won a face-off straight to Hamly who without hesitation ripped a shot past Edelkoort to give him goals in five straight games.
“I’m just shooting the puck now. Don’t think about it, just put it on net,” said Hamly who now has 7 goals on the year. “Cox and Petrie have been giving me great passes in the slot so I just need to bury my chances.”
The Thunder cut the lead to one at 6:20 of the second period when Korbyn Chabot plowed his way to the MOB goal and stuffed a shot past Curr.
The teams each racked up 21 shots in a busy second period and the shooting range continued in the third but neither goalie was able to be beat.
“I just take every shot the exact same, I try to read what the shooter is doing and luckily I made a few big saves to keep the lead,” said Curr.
The Barons outshot the Thunder 57-43 in the game.
“He was fantastic tonight for sure, it’s so nice to have a steady goalie back there that you can rely on if they get a good chance you know he’s going to come up with a big save when we need it,” said Hamly on the play of Curr.
The MOB would get an empty net goal late from Owen Reith to seal the victory.
The Barons are back on the road next weekend for another three in three set. They will take on Sherwood Park Friday, Drayton Valley Saturday and Spruce Grove on Sunday.