Another split weekend for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
The Barons fell in a tough 2-1 overtime loss on Friday to Drumheller – before bouncing back on Saturday with a 3-2-win over Spruce Grove to improve to 14-9-and-6 on the season.
The MOB got a pretty solid pair of starts from backup goalie Josh Dias who stopped 64 of 68 shots he faced over the weekend.
Head Coach Tom Keca tells Mix News despite it being a split – they can’t beat themselves up about their effort.
“We bounced back well on Saturday when we played Spruce Grove who we’ve seen three of the last four games already. To get a regulation win there was crucial. We played extremely well defensively and didn’t give up a lot of chances. Something we can definitely build on moving into this weekend.”
The Barons get the best of both worlds with another pair of games this weekend.
The MOB have a matchup on Saturday against the Lloydminster Bobcats – who are ranked last in the AJHL North Division, followed by a Sunday matchup with the top-ranked Bonnyville Pontiacs.
Keca says with goalie Chris Curr still plagued by injury, they should be able to count on backup Josh Dias – if needed.
“You want somebody who can really push the starter and there’s friendly competition. Josh has learned a lot from Chris and he’s increased his battle level. I mean, it’s always a luxury to have two good goaltenders you feel comfortable playing no matter what the circumstances are.”
The Barons sit in 4th place in the AJHL North Division and have a 4-point gap separating them from Grand Prairie and Whitecourt.
Keca notes as they enter the second half of the season – he’s been overall pleased with his teams’ effort.
“The record’s maybe not where we like but we’ve played a lot of close games. We’re not necessarily getting blown out and we aren’t blowing anyone out ourselves. I think the more we can play those types of game, it will better prepare us for playoffs where every game appears to be tight-checking.”
Lloydminster visits the Casman Centre on Saturday – with puck drop at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday’s game against Bonnyville takes place at 2:30 p.m.