BARONS OPEN ROAD TRIP WITH SHOOTOUT WIN OVER TEXAS
By Eric Rodgers,
Josh Green and Mark Arcobello scored in the shootout while Niko Hovinen stopped all four shooters to give the Oklahoma City Barons the 5-4 win over the Texas Stars on Saturday night at the Cedar Park Center. Hovinen made 22 saves in the win to improve to 3-1-1 on the season, while Cristopher Nilstorp made 25 saves in the loss to fall to 17-10-3.
The first period started off with fireworks as Alex Plante stood up for himself and teammate Eric Hunter after Francis Wathier landed big hits on both. The teams traded power-play chances and Texas opened the scoring on their second attempt, brought about by a Curtis Hamilton boarding penalty. The puck was worked around by Jack Johnston to Colton Sceviour, Sceviour's shot was knocked down in front by Alex Plante and Doug Jones potted the rebound to give the Stars the 1-0 lead on the power play at 12:15. The Barons held a 9-6 edge in shots after the first, but 1-0 was the score in favor of Texas.
On the first shift of the second, Philippe Cornet had the puck in the corner and made a blind backhand pass to Jonathan Cheechoo in front and he roofed it to tie the score at one just 38 seconds into the frame. The Barons killed a Martin Marincin penalty shortly after the goal. As Marincin exited the box, received a stretch pass from Andrew Hotham. Although Marincin lost the puck, he regained control, took it around the net and scored on a wraparound to give the Barons their first lead of the night at 4:20.
The Stars retook the lead after goals from Matt Fraser at 10:16 and Justin Dowling at 11:54. The Barons would answer late in the second. After scoring in the first minute of the 2nd, the Barons topped it off with a goal in the final minute as Colten Teubert scored from the point at 19:35 to tie the game 3-3 after two.
A quick Cheechoo penalty in the third was killed off by the Barons. At 9:17, the Stars put together a big set play off a faceoff and used sharp passing to find Matt Fraser for his second goal of the night and a 4-3 Stars lead. A Tom Wandell tripping penalty put the Barons on their third power play of the night, and it took nine seconds for Brett Clark to find Cheechoo in front for his second goal of the night. Cheechoo's third point of the night tied the game at four with just under nine minutes to play.
After tying the game, the Barons penalty killers came up big as Marincin was whistled for delay of game. Back-and-forth play for the next six minutes resulted in a stalemate and the teams headed to overtime, and then the shootout in which the Barons got the 5-4 win.
Oklahoma City improves to 26-20-2-5 and now has 59 points in the standings. Texas falls to 33-15-4-5 with 75 points to continue leading the South Division.
The Barons were 1-for-4 on the power play on the night, while the penalty kill was 5-for-6 on the night. The Barons now lead the season series between the two teams 7-3-0-1.
The three-in-three weekend continues tomorrow afternoon as the Barons travel to Charlotte, North Carolina to face the Checkers in the first of two meetings this week. Puck drop is scheduled for 4 pm Central Time at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
click here for boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1010695
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