It was a goaltending battle Friday night at the Casman Centre as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Drumheller Dragons went save for save until the bitter end.
Josh Dias made his fifth straight start for the MOB and turned aside 35 Drumheller shots while Daniel Allin stood tall in the Dragons goal kicking out 36 Barons shots and helping his team to a 2-1 shootout win.
The teams traded chances all night but in the shootout the Dragons went a perfect 3-3 while Allin made one save on two Barons shooters and that was all that was needed to pick up the win.
“I thought that Dias was outstanding during the game, unfortunate during the shootout but as a coach that’s just a skills session and we haven’t had a ton of luck this year in those,” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca whose team is now 2-3 in shootouts this season.
The Barons had a pair of new faces in their line-up after two mid-week trades. Tyson Scott who was acquired from the Sherwood Park Crusaders for Jack Hamly made an immediate impact as the big winger created several chances early on. Defenceman Max Struss who came over from the Calgary Canucks brought an element of toughness that has lacked at times this season from the MOB. Struss mixed things up with the Dragons captain Markus Boguslavsky in the first period and added to his team high 142 penalty minutes.
“When you’re that big the puck does tend to follow you a little bit but he (Scott) has a very good skill set and he had a couple chances,” said Keca of Scott who has 20 points on the season. “For both him (Scott) and Struss to come in and eat up as many minutes as they did and contribute as they did I thought was a very positive sign.”
The Dragons opened the scoring 7:01 into the first period when Boguslavsky was left all alone in front of the MOB goal and snapped a shot past Dias off a feed from Scout Truman.
The MOB continued to fight for an equalizer and it would come at 13:48 of the second period on a powerplay. Reed Morison picked up the puck and skated to the top of the right face-off circle before turning and firing a shot that fooled Allin. Ryan Conroy drew the lone assist on Morison’s team high 19th goal.
Boguslavsky, Roc Truman and Shane Ott scored in the shootout for the Dragons. Scott was stopped by Allin and Morison scored for the MOB.
Saturday night will see the Barons welcome the Spruce Grove Saints to the Casman Centre for the third time in a week. The teams split last weekend’s games with the MOB picking up a 2-1 win before the Saints dumped the MOB 6-2 the following night.
The game is also the annual Teddy Bear Toss in support of Santas Anonymous. Bring a stuffed animal to the rink and when the Oil Barons score their first goal of the game throw it onto the ice. Bears will be available to purchase at the game.
“It’s a great cause Santas Anonymous, I know Father Merc does a tremendous job in their support so please if you have a couple hours to kill come to the Oil Barons game – I sincerely hope we can get as many people into the Casman Centre and litter the ice with as many teddy bears as we can,” said Keca.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 post-game show.