By George Darkow, OKC Barons on 01/03/2014

Chet Pickard stopped 33 of 35 shots in his first AHL start since 2010, and C.J. Stretch had a goal and two assists as the Oklahoma City Barons defeated the San Antonio Rampage 5-2 Friday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

San Antonio got on the board first at 10:15 in the first period, when Ryan Whitney hammered a one timer from Vincent Trocheck past Pickard during a 5-on-3 power play.

Oklahoma City answered quickly, however, after Michael Caruso was penalized for shooting the puck over the glass, putting the Barons on a 5-on-3 power play of their own. At 14:19 in the first a Derek Nesbitt shot rebounded to Stretch who quickly passed the puck through the crease to find a wide open Roman Horak, who hammered the puck past a sprawling Jacob Markstrom. 

Just 35 seconds into the second period, with the Barons on the power play from a late first period elbowing penalty to San Antonio's Jon Matsumoto, Nesbitt drilled a one-time pass from Horak past Markstrom to give the Barons a 2-1 lead.

Oklahoma City padded its lead at 8:07 in the second period, scoring their third power play goal of the game when Taylor Fedun slammed a pass from Ryan Martindale into the back of the Rampage net, putting the Barons up by a score of 3-1.

San Antonio cut the Oklahoma City lead to 3-2 early in the third period, when Matt Gilroy tossed the puck towards the Barons net from the far boards of the Oklahoma City zone and Wade Megan tipped it past Pickard at 5:36.  

The Barons would once again extend their lead, though, when Stretch put a rebounded Fedun shot past Markstrom to put Oklahoma City up by two goals again at 7:23 in the third.

Oklahoma City added a fifth goal late in the third when Matthew Ford scored an empty-netter at 19:27.

Pickard's last AHL start came on Dec. 11, 2010 as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals, giving up three goals in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Texas Stars.

The Barons are back in action Saturday night, when they return home to the Cox Convention Center and face the Rampage in the latter game of a home-and-home series.  Puck drops at 7:00, with the first 2,000 fans receiving cowboy hats as part of Country Western Night.

Click here for the box score:

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