Oil Barons lose to Dragons, hold up against Saints
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.
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.