Two late powerplay goals in the third period helped propel the Fort McMurray Oil Barons to a 4-2 win over the Drayton Valley Thunder Saturday night.
Tied 2-2 heading into the final frame, the MOB dominated the final 20 minutes out-shooting the Thunder 19-7 and used a late double-minor penalty for high sticking to strike twice and come away with the win.
“It’s such a tough weekend and I was talking to the coaching staff and we couldn’t remember the last time we had an entire weekend where it just doesn’t matter what we do” said MOB Head Coach Tom Keca as the Oil Barons will finish in 4th place regardless of the outcomes of their final three games this weekend. “We can’t move up, we can’t move down and there’s no body really going for any personal achievements so it really is a tough weekend because the psyche of the players is just nobody wants to get hurt because the real season starts on Thursday.”
The Thunder (24-30-6) were able to grab the lead after the first period when Jacob Charko beat Chris Curr over the glove hand after walking out of the left corner.
The Barons (31-19-9) would use an early goal to start the second period from Tyler Maser to tie the game. Ty Ettinger took a hit inside his own zone as he head manned the puck up ice to Jarred White. Off the rush, White dished to Maser who blasted in his 6th of the year as he now has goals in back to back games.
Charko got the Thunder’s lead back at 8:21 when he blew past the MOB defence and tucked the puck around the out-stretched pad of Curr for his second of the game.
The Oil Barons responded late in the period just as their powerplay had expired to tie the game 2-2. Nathan Carl snapped a shot from the right face-off circle that beat Rory Dumelie under the arm.
“When it comes to playoff time usually your top players usually just saw off and it’s equal and it’s your depth guys who provide the difference,” said Keca on getting scoring from his bottom six forward group.
The Barons dominated the third period but needed a late powerplay to put the Thunder away and seal the victory. Tyson Scott banged home a rebound with 1:04 left in the game to put the MOB up one. Jarred White would fire home the insurance marker 13 seconds later as the Thunder were trying to pull their goaltender. The puck was turned over in the neutral zone and before Dumelie could get back in his net, White fired home the dagger.
The Barons have now won 6 of their last 7 games and have points in 7 straight as they finish up the regular season Sunday afternoon in Spruce Grove against the Saints. The Saints still have something to play for as a win for them and a Bonnyville loss to Whitecourt would move the Saints up to 2nd place in the North Division. Catch all the action on Country 93.3 beginning with the pre-game show at 1:45 p.m.
MOB Head Coach Tom Keca on the Country 93.3 post-game show.