Oil Barons host Bonnyville at Centerfire Place, split weekend games

The Fort McMurray Oil Barons celebrate a goal against the Bonnyville Pontiacs at the Centerfire Place on Friday, October 16, 2020. Laura Beamish/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network jpg, FM

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For the second weekend in a row, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons split their weekend games against the Bonnyville Pontiacs as they won the first game, but fell short the next evening.

Playing to a crowd of 100 fans due to COVID-19 regulations, the game started with Pontiacs defenseman Jaxsen Wyatt scoring less than two minutes into the game. Another goal from Bonnyville’s Justin Stathopoulos gave them a 2-0 lead.

With less than two minutes left in the first period, the Oil Barons got on the scoreboard with a goal from Ty Mosimann.

Heading into the second period, the Oil Barons were quick to tie the game, with forward Ethan Jamernik scoring after just 17 seconds. Another goal less than three minutes into the third period, the Oil Barons took the lead, ultimately winning 3-2.

The two teams returned to Centerfire Place on Saturday, where the game had a slower start than the previous night.

It wasn’t until 15 minutes into the first period when the only goal of the game was scored by Bonnyville defenseman Alexander Marrocco. Unable to get a puck passed Bonnyville goalie Easton Hesse, the MOB lost the game 1-0.

Fort McMurray Oil Barons head coach Gord Thibodeau said the weekend was a “mixed bag.”

“I didn’t think our energy was great, our execution certainly wasn’t good, but we competed hard,” he said. “I thought we had opportunities, we just didn’t bury a lot of pucks.”

With four games under their belt, the exhibition series is “going as expected,” he said.

“It takes a bit of time for guys to start to gel so it’s been much like the results,” said Thibodeau. “We’re two-and-two and we probably deserve to be two-and-two. We’ve played a couple good games, we’ve played a couple poor games.”

With two games left in the series against Bonnyville, Thibodeau said he is looking for players to compete for lose pucks and win some battles.

“Offensively we’re looking for some guys to create some offence in the offensive zone and defensively you’re looking for guys that can move the puck quickly, get it up to the forwards, not over-handle the puck,” he said.

Thibodeau called the goaltending excellent, making a decision with all three goalies “probably right now one of the biggest battles.”

The two teams compete Wednesday in Bonnyville before returning to Fort McMurray for their final game in the exhibition series on Saturday.


Fort McMurray Oil Barons forwards Ethan Jamernik and Hunter Lamb stand in front of the Bonnyville Pontiac’s net at the Centerfire Place on Friday, October 16, 2020. Laura Beamish/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network jpg, FM