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BARONS HOLD OFF AEROS; DOWN HOUSTON 4-3

By Josh Evans, OKC Barons

The occurrence of one-goal games between the Oklahoma City Barons and Houston Aeros has become common. Entering tonight’s contest, six of the seven games in the season series have been decided by one goal or one goal plus an empty net. Would tonight be any different? 

Through two periods of play, the answer was headed toward no. The Barons used second period goals from Toni Rajala, Philippe Cornet and Curtis Hamilton to stake the team to a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes of play. The goals by Cornet and Hamilton were scored just 14 seconds apart, the second fastest two goals scored by the Barons this season.

Houston would not go quietly. David McIntyre scored the first of his two goals in the evening just 1:14 into the third period to cut the Barons lead down to two goals. 

Oklahoma City wasted no time in responding as Jonathan Cheechoo scored his sixth of the season from the top of the right-wing circle at 6:38 of the third to return the Barons lead to three goals. That goal would prove to be the game winner.

Houston scored with the man advantage at 10:16 after a Paul Mara shot deflected past Barons netminder Yann Danis to make the score 4-2.

With 2:26 left to play in the game, Aeros coach John Torchetti pulled goaltender Matt Hackett in favor of an extra attacker. The Aeros couldn’t settle the puck in the offensive zone and the Barons broke in toward the empty net. Toni Rajala fed Antti Tyrvainen near the crease, but the puck bounced away from his stick and Tyrvainen missed the empty net.

Houston would take advantage of the extra time and scored with 1:09 left to play on McIntyre’s second goal of the night from deep in the right-wing circle.

The Barons were able to withstand the Aeros pressure in the final minute of the game to preserve the 4-3 win.

Each team scored one power-play goal on three chances on the night. Barons goaltender Yann Danis stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced for his 15th win of the season.

Oklahoma City has earned at least one standing point in eight of their last 11 games, going 6-2-0-3. Oklahoma City is 4-1-0-1 through six games in February.

Of the eight games played in the season series between these two clubs, only one game was truly decided by two goals, that the first meeting of the season on October 26. Every other game has been decided by just one goal, but only two in a shootout. The game January 1, 2013 was a two-goal decision, but was created by an empty-net goal.

The Barons and Aeros waste no time in returning to action. The teams square off tomorrow night at the Toyota Center in Houston at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on the Barons flagship station 96.1 KXY.

Click here for boxscore:  http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1010638

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