AEROS EDGE BARONS 4-3 IN A SHOOTOUT
By Josh Evans, OKC Barons
The Oklahoma City Barons and Houston Aeros met for the second time in 48 hours at the Cox Convention Center on Saturday night. Despite a three-point (2-1-3) effort from Jordan Eberle, the Barons fell 4-3 in a shootout.
After a scoreless first period, the Barons earned a 1-0 lead on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ third goal of the season. Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz found Nugent-Hopkins alone in the slot and he popped it over the left shoulder of Aeros netminder Matt Hackett.
The assist for Schultz extended his point-scoring streak to nine games. That is one game shy of the Barons franchise record for longest point-scoring streak held by forward Josh Green.
Things progressed quickly for the Barons at the start of the third as another of the team’s young stars, Jordan Eberle, scored inside the first minute of the period. Eberle picked the pockets of the Aeros defese tandem of Steven Kampfer and Tyler Cuma just inside the blueline. He walked in uncontested and shot the puck over the shoulder of Hackett.
The goal equals the franchise record for the fastest goal from the start of a period. It also marks the third time this weekend that a player under 22 has scored inside the first minute of a period. Taylor Hall scored 38 seconds into the first period last night to go along with goals tonight by Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle inside the first minute of a period.
Eberle would pot his second of the night, this time on the power play. Just under six minutes into the third, Nugent-Hopkins found Eberle deep in the right-wing faceoff circle. Eberle worked his way into the slot, made a toe drag around the Aeros defense and shoveled it in past Hackett. The goal was reviewed and counted as good to give the Barons a 3-0 lead.
Similar to last night, Houston mounted a comeback with three straight goals in the third period. Tonight, goals from David McIntyre, Chay Genoway and Joel Broda in under three minutes turned the tide to the favor of the Aeros.
Into the overtime, the teams traded shots on goal, with both goaltenders up to the challenge. Houston earned a late power-play opportunity with under a minute to play in the overtime session, but was unable to convert.
In the shootout, two of the three Aeros shooters scored, while all four Barons players were turned away.
Yann Danis stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced in the shootout loss. His record falls to 3-2-1. Oklahoma City was 1 for 4 on the power play.
Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz finished with two assists on the evening, upping his point total on the season to 15 (6-9-15). He leads the AHL in scoring, rookie scoring and scoring by defensemen.
The Barons complete their season-long seven-game homestand with a record of 4-2-0-1. The Barons play their next three games on the road, beginning tomorrow afternoon against the San Antonio Rampage at 4:30 p.m.
Next weekend, the Barons make their only trip to Abbotsford to take on the Heat, AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames.
click here for boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1009994
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