The Fort McMurray Oil Barons continue to roll after their first three games.
After last year’s disappointing finish, there’s a renewed sense of optimism among the MOB-faithful and the 1,666 fans who graced the Casman Centre on Friday night had plenty of cause for celebration.
Jacob Berry scored a goal and added two assists, while goalie Eric Szudor made 22 saves to lead the MOB to a crushing 7-1 win over the Lloydminster Bobcats.
Head Coach and General Manager Tom Keca tells Mix News it was great to get back to business at the Casman.
“There was a lot of energy and excitement before the game with the tailgate party. Lots of family members in town so, the challenge for the players is too stay focused. I thought we did a great job coming out in the first period, staked ourselves a 3-nothing lead and just rode the momentum for the rest of the game.”
Captain Shane Fraser, Ryan Conroy, Tyler Petrie, Nicholas Leeseberg, Jack Hamly, Tanner Miller and Will Conley each added two-point efforts in the win to push the Barons to 3-and-0 on the season.
Keca says they need to put their foot on the gas-pedal and follow up yesterday’s win with a solid effort tonight.
“We’ll stress the little fundamentals, getting pucks out, being a little stronger on our sticks,” Keca said. “I thought we could’ve been more engaged in our physical battles but we don’t look too far ahead. We don’t let our highs get too high or our lows get too low. We’re going to regroup here and hopefully we get another good effort tonight.”
Despite the hot start, Keca was frustrated with his team’s lack of capitalizing with the man advantage.
The Barons were 0-for-6 with the extra-man.
Keca also notes that while the season is still young, his team will have to work not only on capitalizing on power play chances but also maintaining puck control in order to keep the ball rolling tonight and moving forward.
“We could’ve been a little bit crisper,” Keca noted. “Especially in our own zone. I think that whenever you hang onto the puck or you don’t move the puck fast enough or hard enough, you leave yourself open to physical play and getting hit. So, I think for us it’s just a matter of more intelligence on our puck movement and like I said, just being stronger on our sticks.”
The Oil Barons are back in action tonight for part two of their doubleheader with the Bobcats – with puck drop at 7:30 p.m.