By Blake Colston, on 03/30/2012

The Oklahoma City Barons clinched their second consecutive playoff appearance with a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Oklahoma City spent the early portion of the first period defending their territory including a short-handed situation after a high sticking call against defenseman Dylan Yeo.

The Barons and goaltender Yann Danis withstood the early Milwaukee onslaught and responded with the initial score of the game at 13:46.  

Anton Lander won a faceoff Lander skated the puck into the attacking zone and dished off a backhand pass to Antti Tyrvainen.  From there, Tyrvainen took two strides and a fired shot just inside the post past Admirals netminder Jeremy Smith on his glove side.

The second period featured free-flowing action with plenty of shots on goal.

One of those shots nearly tied the game for the Admirals. Michael Latta put a shot on goal that seemed destined for the back of the net but Barons goaltender Yann Danis made a brilliant pad save to deny Latta and keep Milwaukee off the board.

Anton Lander would be a catalyst again as he slid a pass from the boards to Tanner House between the circles where House ripped a wrister past Smith glove side to open up a 2-0 lead for Oklahoma City. Antti Tyrvainen also assisted on the goal.

The Barons would carry that same 2-0 lead into the final intermission despite being outshot 15-12 in the period.

Once the third period began it didn’t take long for Milwaukee to cut the Barons lead in half. Kevin Henderson put home his fourth goal of the season only 23 seconds into the third period to make it 2-1.

But the Admirals wouldn’t be within one goal for long. Hunter Tremblay collected the rebound of a Marc Arcobello shot from the point and shoveled a pass acorss the crease to Tyler Pitlick who beat Smith and regained a goal advantage for Oklahoma City.The goal was Pitlick’s seventh of the season.

Oklahoma City’s lead was cut to one again at 12:29 when Ryan Flynn redirected a shot from the point in the mid-slot that slipped past Barons goaltender Yann Danis.

Milwaukee’s had a couple of chances to tie the game late in the third.  Perhaps their best chance came after an Alex Plante double minor for highsticking and a hooking call against Hunter Tremblay provided the Admirals with a 5-on-3 advantage.

Oklahoma City’s penalty kill was up to the challenge, though, denying a strong Admirals power play unit. The Barons finished the game 10-10 on the penalty kill.

Barons netminder Yann Danis stopped 36 of 38 shots in the win. Jeremy Smith stopped 24 of 27 shots for Milwaukee.
With the victory Oklahoma City is the first team in the Western Conference to secure a playoff berth.

The Barons return to action tomorrow to face the Grand Rapids Griffins. Faceoff is set for 6 p.m. in Grand Rapids.

Playoff tickets for the Barons home playoff games will go on sale Monday morning by calling the Barons office at 232-GOAL. The Barons playoff schedule will be released pending the outcome of all the seeding in the Western Conference.

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