BARONS DOWN AEROS 2-1 IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
By Blake Colston,The Oklahoma City Barons used goals from Magnus Paajarvi and Mark Arcobello and 23 saves from Yann Danis to down the Houston Aeros 2-1. The game was the final regular season home game for Oklahoma City.
A physical first period that featured eight penalties and plenty of big hits was a precursor of things to come between the Aeros and the Barons.
Magnus Paajarvi delivered the opening scoring salvo of the game for Oklahoma City with a shot from the high slot that beat screened Houston netminder Matt Hackett at 17:19 of the first period. Teemu Hartikainen and Bryan Rodney assisted on the goal.
Houston took advantage of back-to-back Barons penalties to tie the game at one at 5:59 of the second. The Aeros cashed in on their second 5-on-3 of the night when Joe DiSalvitore chipped the puck past Barons goaltender Yann Danis after receiving a feed from Justin Fontaine.
Mark Arcobello scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 10:11 of the second. The Barons controlled the puck for a good portion of Arcobello's shift. Tyler Pitlick and Philippe Cornet combined to work the puck in front to Arcobello who shot it under Hackett while falling to the ice.
The third period featured what one would expect in a one-goal game when teams are fighting for playoff positioning. Houston began to press late in the third, but Barons goaltender Yann Danis was up to the task and stopped all six Aeros shots in the third, several from point blank range.
The Barons win improves their home record to 21-12-3-2 on the season. The victory for Yann Danis was his 26th of the season.
The Barons win was their 44th of the season and moved them two points ahead of the Toronto Marlies for the best record in the Western Conference. The Marlies close out the season in Abbotsford with games Friday and Sunday evening.
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Oklahoma City closes out the regular season with road games at Texas on Saturday and at San Antonio on Sunday. Faceoff Saturday against the Stars is set for 7 p.m. Faceoff Sunday against the Rampage is 3:30 p.m.
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