BARONS REBOUND TO DEFEAT WOLVES, 4-2
By George Darkow,
The Oklahoma City Barons improved to 5-6-0-1 Saturday night at the Cox Convention Center by skating past the Chicago Wolves to a 4-2 win in a game that saw a combined 40 penalty minutes and a rare penalty shot opportunity by Barons winger Linus Omark.
At 13:13 in the third period, Omark was dragged down from behind in front of the Chicago net, resulting in the penalty shot. On the ensuing shot, Omark skated from the right of Chicago goalie Jake Allen before sliding the puck toward the opposite side and depositing it between Allen's legs, giving Omark his team-leading eighth goal of the season and the Barons a decisive 4-2 lead.
In the early going, Chicago and Oklahoma City carefully measured each other, with no significant scoring opportunities created by either side. At 13:46 of the first period, Omark created a solid scoring chance thanks to a nice deke that allowed him skate past the Chicago defense, but was unable to push a backhand attempt past Wolves goalie Jake Allen.
Later in the first, a scrum along the bench-side boards resulted in the puck being kicked out to Derek Nesbitt directly in front of the Wolves net, but Nesbitt was unable to corral the puck cleanly, and the hesitation allowed Allen to block Nesbitt's shot.
At 18:04 of the first, Wolves defenseman Brent Regner was whistled for a cross-checking penalty that gave the Barons their second power play of the period, and with just 49.2 seconds remaining, Matthew Ford deflected a Martin Marincin shot from the point, giving the Barons a 1-0 lead.
The second period saw several power play opportunities for both teams, with the Wolves committing four penalties, and the Barons three. At 16:40, Barons winger Erick Lizon was whistled for a double minor after lifting his stick into the face of Chicago's Christian Hanson. Thanks to a solid penalty kill led by some aggressive puck pursuit by Barons defenseman Denis Grebeshkov, the Barons were able to keep the Wolves out of the net.
Halfway through the penalty to Lizon, Chicago's Alexandre Bolduc was whistled for hooking, creating a 4-on-4 situation for two minutes. While both teams struggled to take advantage of the open ice, Chicago had the best chance when Corey Locke found Joel Edmundson with a cross-ice pass near the Barons net. Barons goaltender, Olivier Roy was able to quickly slide to open side of the net and deny the Wolves' opportunity.
Once again Linus Omark gave the Barons a great opportunity to score at 10:30, when he deked Chicago winger Sebastian Wannstrom with a nifty between-the-legs move, but shot just wide of the net.
The Barons' one-goal lead wouldn't hold up, however, as a turnover in the Barons zone led to game-tying goal at 9:26 in the second by Wolves winger Ty Rattie that beat Roy on his glove side. The score remained tied at one apiece after two periods.
The Barons started the third period quickly, breaking the 1-1 tie at 18:34 on Kale Kessy's first professional goal, a tip of a Brad Hunt shot from the point. Less than two minutes later, the Barons added to their lead when Nesbitt took a cross-ice pass from Mario Lamoureux and sailed the puck over Allen's stick and into the Wolves' net.
Chicago quickly answered, however. After a tripping penalty by Grebeshov, a shot by Wolves winger Mark Mancari resulted in two point-blank rebound opportunities for Chicago. On the second put-back attempt, Chicago center Pat Cannone sneaked the puck past Roy cutting the Barons lead to 3-2.
Omark's penalty shot capped the 4-2 win for the Barons.
Chicago dropped to 4-6-0-1 on the season.
Click here for the boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011249
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