BARONS DOMINATE CHECKERS 7-3
By Carter Baum,
The Checkers got on the board first on a power-play goal after Magnus Paajarvi was sent off for holding. Brett Sutter scored for Charlotte off of a scramble in front of the Barons net at 7:39 of the first with assists to Justin Shugg and Chris Terry.
The Barons answered just over a minute later, to make it 1-1, on a breakaway goal by Philippe Cornet from Jonathan Cheechoo at 8:25 of the first period.
Charlotte didn’t wait long to regain their one-goal advantage, making it 2-1, as Luke Pither put one past Barons starter Niko Hovinen at 9:35 of the period with assists to Terry and Justin Krueger.
The Barons once again answered with a goal of their own to tie it 2-2. Mark Arcobello scored after Cheechoo walked past a Checkers defender and slid the puck across to an open Arcobello. The goal came at 15:02 of the back-and-forth opening frame with the second assist credited to Cornet.
Oklahoma City was able to capitalize on a penalty by Justin Shugg late in the period to take a 3-2 lead when Cornet scored his second goal of the night. A point shot from Brett Clark deflected off of Cheechoo and eventually off of Cornet. The Barons took a 3-2 lead to the locker room after the first period. Oklahoma City outshot Charlotte 18-8 in the period.
The middle frame opened with physical play, including a tussle between Colten Teubert and Brett Bellemore at 2:40 of the period. Teubert and Bellemore were each assessed five minutes for fighting, but Charlotte ended up with two additional minor penalties, resulting in a 5-on-3 power play for the Barons.
Oklahoma City struck quickly on the two-man advantage. Cheechoo scored his first as a Baron, snapping home a shot from the deep slot. That goal chased starter Justin Peters from the goal.
Tony Rajala made it 5-2 Oklahoma City at 8:38 of the period with assists to Arcobello and Martin Marincin. Chris VandeVelde scored for the Barons less than a minute later from Kristians Pelss and Andrew Hotham at 9:30 to make it 6-2 Oklahoma City.
Charlotte got on the board before the end of the period on the power play after Alex Plante was charged for