The Fort McMurray Oil Barons continued their red-hot play over the weekend, winning both games on the road against the Spruce Grove Saints.
The MOB would open the scoring on Friday with Tyler Wallace netting his second of the season. Jayden Davis, who was named Rookie Of The Week last week, tied things up for the Saints just twenty seconds later. The Barons dominated the period, putting 22 shots on Saints goaltender Tyler Palmer, but entered the first intermission tied 1-1.
An early powerplay goal from Taige Harding regained the lead for Fort McMurray, his second in as many games. Again, the Saints would tie things up just moments later, with Caden Cabana scoring his first career AJHL goal. The MOB regained the lead as the period was winding down, with Michael Hodge taking a pass from Hunter Lamb in tight and roofing it over Palmer’s shoulder.
It was all Barons in the third, as they came out looking to put the game away. Ryder Matter scored about five and a half minutes into the period, his second game in a row with a goal. Max McCoy added to the lead just a minute and a half later, his first of the season. Jesse Burchart sealed the game late in the third, also his first of the season. Final shots were 45-25 for the MOB. Rookie netminder and local Fort McMurryite Gabe Gratton got his first AJHL win.
The Saints came out determined not to drop three in a row on Friday, scoring the game’s first goal off the stick of Brett Pfoh, his first AJHL goal. The Barons would answer late, as Hassan Akl ripped a shot past Thomas Couture of the Saints. Akl had missed Friday’s game due to illness. The Saints would strike again in the last minute of the period, as defenseman Logan Acheson pounced on a loose puck in the slot and beat Evan Fradette. The Barons struggled to get any offense going, being outshot 12-3 in the opening frame.
Hunter Lamb tied things up on an early powerplay goal, deflecting the point shot of Brendan Wang past Couture. Lamb was named the AJHL Player Of The Week last week. Spruce Grove answered quickly, scoring their own powerplay goal just minutes later and regaining the lead. Hassan Akl scored his second of the game with just over 5 minutes remaining in the period on the powerplay. Less than a minute later, Max McCoy added to the Baron’s lead.
The Barons again closed things out in the third. Matthew Schulmeister scored his first career AJHL goal just two minutes into the frame, and then Max McCoy registered his second of the game about 5 minutes later. McCoy, born and raised in Fort McMurray, made the most of some extra ice time over the weekend, scoring 3 goals in the 2 games. Evan Fradette earned his 5th win of the season, and for a third straight game, the Oil Barons scored 6 goals against the Saints.
The two teams are halfway through their 8 game series, with the MOB picking up 7 of a possible 8 points so far and increasing their lead in the Viterra North Standings. The Barons are back home at Centrefire Place this Friday at 7:30 p.m., and then will travel to Grant Fuhr Arena to face the Saints in Spruce Grove on Sunday at 4 p.m. You can listen to all Oil Barons games on Country 93.3.