BARONS RALLY TO DOWN RAMPAGE, 2-1
By Cassie Gage,
Ryan Martindale scored his second goal in as many days as the Oklahoma City Barons defeated the San Antonio Rampage, 2-1, Saturday evening at the Cox Convention Center. The Barons (19-16-2-3) snapped a five-game losing streak, recording the team’s first win since a 3-2 shootout win at Milwaukee on January 5.
Oklahoma City’s line of Dane Byers, Martindale and Tyler Pitlick broke open the scoring at 12:52 of the opening period as Byers scored his third goal of the year. Pitlick was the recipient of a behind-the-net pass from Martindale and found a streaking Byers who scored his first goal since Nov. 25 at Charlotte.
The Rampage out-shot the Barons 10-9 in the period, but Oklahoma City had quality chances in the frame prior to and after the Byers goal. Anton Lander had one of those opportunities but was turned away by a Jacob Markstrom kick save.
San Antonio went on the power play late in the period and Barons starting goaltender Olivier Roy came up big on the penalty kill to keep the Rampage off the board. In the final minute of the first period, Andrew Hotham made a great defensive play on Andre Deveaux to keep the score 1-0 Oklahoma City at the first intermission.
The Byers-Martindale-Pitlick continued their controlling puck possession in the second period. Despite the Barons out-shooting the Rampage in the period, 11-7 to take a 20-17 advantage in the game, San Antonio got the equalizer to even the score at 1-1.
Deveaux crashed the net and put home a centering pass from John McFarland at 16:02 to tie the game at 1-1 after two periods of play.
Oklahoma City stretched the shots lead out to 36-25 during the third period and put the pressure on Markstrom late in a tie game. The persistence paid off as Martindale picked up his second goal in as many days at 18:51 to give the Barons a 2-1 win. Martindale’s wrister from the high slot came courtesy of a no-look pass from Kristians Pelss.
The Barons hit the road for three games in four days in three cities. Oklahoma City plays Grand Rapids on Jan. 23 at Van Angel Arena in Grand Rapids. The Barons then play on back-to-back days, Jan. 25-26, first at Milwaukee then at Rockford.
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