Oil Barons rookies Shawn Weber (Lloydminster, AB) and Issac Ceh (Chicago, IL) scored their first AJHL goals, and Jordan Xavier (Calgary, AB) had his first multi-point night with a goal and an assist, as the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (11-10-3) doubled up the Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-2 on Saturday night.
The Barons struck first, when Weber tipped home a point shot off the stick of Zach Wittenburg (Chestermere, AB) 10:35 into the first.
But the Crusaders were able to even things up with 1:24 left in the period, when Ryan Kruper beat Zach Fortin (St. Jerome, PQ) tipping a power play point shot.
In the second, the Barons came out firing, when Ceh picked up a loose puck in his own zone off of a shot block by team captain Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB), raced up the right wing side, and blew a shot past goalie Tommy Nixon for the 2-1 lead just 22 seconds into the frame.
The MOB then picked up where they left off in the third period, when Xavier picked up a rebound, spun towards the net, and beat Nixon five-hole for his second point of the night, giving the MOB the 3-1 lead.
Wil Tomchuk (Fort McMurray, AB) picked up an assist, playing in his first game back with his hometown team.
But the Crusaders made things interesting with five minutes left to play, when Kruper’s second of the game brought Sherwood Park back within one.
But with 11 seconds left, Brett McNeil (Halifax, NS) iced the victory with an empty-netter fired from his own crease, giving the Barons the 4-2 win.
Tommy Nixon made 43 saves in a losing effort, while Fortin made 31 saves to pick up his second straight win.
The win moves the Barons into sole possession of fourth place in the AJHL North, with a game in hand and two points behind third-place Sherwood Park.
Up next, the Barons hit the road for a three-game weekend road trip, starting with a rematch against the Crusaders in Sherwood Park on Friday night, before moving on to a Saturday night game in Spruce Grove against the first-place Saints, and a Sunday afternoon matinee against the Whitecourt Wolverines.
The Oil Barons’ next home game is Friday, November 21st, when the MOB takes on the Whitecourt Wolverines for the first of two straight games. Puck drop is at 8 PM with tickets available at the Casman Centre box office, by phone at (780) 743-5509, or online at tickets.oilbarons.com.