Fans weren’t even in their seats yet when Reed Morison skated across the blueline and ripped home a shot six seconds into the game Monday afternoon. The goal gave the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (5-3-1) an early lead and they never looked back as they thumped the Drayton Valley Thunder 8-1 to snap their two game losing streak.
“In our speech we said lets get on them in the first 10 minutes, lets make sure we get pucks behind their defence and try to establish a forecheck and I guess there’s no better way to start then with a goal six seconds in and we just kept going from there,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca.
The MOB’s leading scorer Reed Morison led the attack scoring a hat-trick and adding an assist for his second four point game this season but the Barons also received contributions right throughout their line-up.
Nathan Carl made it 2-0 at 13:35 of the first period when he deflected in a Sean McCloskey pass out of the corner for his second goal of the season. Peter Tomaras would then put the MOB up 3-0 when he rifled a shot from the top of the right face-off circle that hand cuffed Shawn Parkinson. Jarred White drew the assist on Tomaras’ third goal of the year.
With the Thunder (2-9-0) down 3-0, their defence began to press and would get caught deep in the Barons zone leading to the MOB pulling away on a two-on-one. Skating down the right wing, Nolen Coventry fed Chad MacLean who one-timed a shot past Parkinson to give him goals in back to back games.
“Every team has a top line or top six forwards but it’s usually those depth guys that provide that difference between a good team and a very good team and for us to get huge quality minutes from Nathan Carl, Nolen Coventry and Chad MacLean was huge,” said Keca of his rookie line that contributed two goals and seven points on the afternoon.
Morison’s second goal of the game would end Parkinson’s day in the Thunder goal. An attempted pass went off the Thunder defenceman’s skate and between the legs of Parkinson. It was a rough day for Parkinson as the netminder allowed five goals on just 13 shots.
It would be the MOB rookie line that again contributed to their next to goal to put them up 6-0 after two periods. Coventry made a touch pass off the boards in his own end to spring Carl up ice. Carl spotted McCloskey coming in late and hit him with a cross-ice pass. The defenceman made no mistake burying his second goal of the season. The assist for Coventry capped off a three assist game for the Calgary native.
The Thunder would get a late goal in the third period when the MOB broke down in their own end and Kadyn Chabot beat Chris Curr on the short side. The MOB would respond with two goals of their own to end the game. Kole Gable blew past his defenceman and with a quick move placed the puck in the top right corner to make it a 7-1 game.
Then with 1:56 left on the clock, Morison chased down a puck on the left wing and with that quick release, beat Rory Dumelie through the legs to complete his third AJHL hat-trick.
“Well we knew that he was going to have to be a guy that would carry the load for us, I mean 11 goals in nine games is a great pace and if he can keep that up, that’d be perfect,” said Keca with a laugh on Morison’s tremendous start to the season. “Reed is a guy who likes to shoot the puck and that’s what you need. Rather than making that extra move you can catch a goalie that isn’t set if you shoot quicker and he’s got a great release.”
Morison has now scored in four straight games and leads the league with 11 goals and 17 points through nine games.
Next up for the MOB, they will head to Spruce Grove on Friday, have a rematch with the Thunder on Saturday and finish up their road trip Sunday in Sherwood Park.
MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 Post-Game Show.