The Alberta Junior Hockey League regular season wrapped up Sunday afternoon and two long standing North Division rivals had a game #60 for the ages.
With nothing to play for once again, the MOB showed that they weren’t just going to go through the motions against the Spruce Grove Saints as they played like they had something to prove as they head into the post-season this week.
The MOB (32-19-9) played with an intensity and physical presence that we have seen from the club over the last month and picked up a thrilling 1-0 win to snap the Saints (40-17-3) nine game winning streak.
Making his second start of the weekend, Josh Dias stopped all 35 shots fired his way to record his first career AJHL shutout.
The Surrey B.C. native made several huge saves including robbing Jordan Biro twice in the second period with one being a breakaway stop.
Dias just needed a single goal to seal the victory and it came 13:55 into the second period when Ryan Conroy pounced on a rebound in front of the Saints goal and knocked in his first goal in 50 games.
The Barons were able to shut down the Saints who lost for just the second time in their past 13 games.
The Barons finished the regular season as one of the hottest teams in the AJHL going 10-2-1 in their last 13 games and finished nine points ahead of the Grande Prairie Storm for fourth place in the North Division.
The MOB will open the first round of the playoffs Thursday night at the Casman Centre as they host the Storm for Game 1. Game 2 will go Friday night with both games getting under way at 7:30 p.m.
The Saints will take on Drayton Valley in the first round while Bonnyville will meet Whitecourt. The Sherwood Park Crusaders who recorded a franchise record 44 wins this season will receive a first round bye.
Fort McMurrayite Max McCoy suited up for his first career game with the MOB Sunday afternoon. McCoy joined Kole Gable and Jesse Burchart as local Fort McMurray players.
Reed Morison missed his first game of the season after suiting up for 59 straight games. Morison led the AJHL in goals with 41 and finished third in scoring with 79 points.