Oil Barons lose to Dragons, hold up against Saints

Fort McMurray Today - - SPORTS - LAURA BEAMISH To­day Staff [email protected]­media.com

Head­ing to the half­way point of the hockey sea­son, the Fort Mcmur­ray Oil Barons were look­ing to build on the first half of the sea­son head­ing into last week­end’s two games at the Cas­man Cen­tre.

On Fri­day, the Oil Barons were up against the Drummheller Dragons where each team put up a fight.

It was Drummheller who got on the board in the first pe­riod, but Fort Mcmur­ray came back in the sec­ond when for­ward Reed Mori­son scored on the power play.

The two teams re­mained tied for the re­main­der of reg­u­la­tion time, forc­ing an over­time pe­riod. How­ever over­time was not enough to find a win­ner, forc­ing the game to a shootout. It was there that the Dragons were able to score on all three shots, tak­ing the game 2-1.

Oil Barons head coach Tom Keca said that although the team may have started off shaky and were caught flat-footed a cou­ple of times, over­all he liked what he was see­ing.

“We did a good job al­low­ing them only one goal and then I thought we were good de­fen­sively,” he said. “For us it was all four lines, all six de­fence did their job and this was a to­tal team ef­fort.”

The MOB was back on the ice on Satur­day against the Spruce Grove Saints. The two teams played each other the pre­vi­ous Satur­day, where the Oil Barons lost 6-2.

It was the Oil Barons who man­aged to take con­trol of the score­board first, with Kole Gable and Nathan Carl each scor­ing in the first pe­riod.

Although the Saints would score a goal in the sec­ond and again in the third, it was Oil Barons for­ward Chad Maclean’s goal in the third that would keep the MOB on top, win­ning 3-2.

“Last week we lost to them on Satur­day, we got run over, we got pushed around quite a bit,” said Keca. “I thought we were a lot more phys­i­cal to­day and I love the com­pete level that we had.”

The win against the Saints marked the 29th game on the sea­son for the Oil Barons. With 31 games re­main­ing, they are cur­rently sit­ting with 14 wins, nine loses and six loses in over­time. They are cur­rently sit­ting in fourth of the Viterra AJHL North di­vi­sion.

Although Keca said the sea­son so far has “prob­a­bly not (gone) as ex­pected,” the games are of­ten close games, which means the team can take the lessons from the losses and im­prove for the next game.

“It’s very rare that we get blown out or we blow some­body else out,” he said. “So this is hockey that bet­ter pre­pares you when play­off time comes so I like that as­pect of it.”

For the sec­ond half of the sea­son, the play­ers need to work on a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing in or­der to im­prove and be pre­pared for play­off sea­son, he said.

“I told the play­ers be­lief is a huge thing and when you be­lieve that you can play in those tight games, whether you’re up a goal, down a goal those will pay come Fe­bru­ary and March,” said Keca.

The Fort Mcmur­ray Oil Barons are back at the Cas­man Cen­tre on Satur­day and Sun­day, against the Lloy­d­min­ster Bob­cats and the Bon­nyville Pon­ti­acs re­spec­tively, be­fore head­ing out for six games on the road.

LAURA BEAMISH/FORT MCMUR­RAY TO­DAY

The Fort Mcmur­ray Oil Barons and the Spruce Grove Saints fight for the puck dur­ing their game at the Cas­man Cen­tre in Fort Mcmur­ray, Alta. on Dec. 1, 2018.

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