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BARONS HOME STREAK ENDS AT 9 WITH 3-2 LOSS TO GRIFFINS
By George Darkow,
With two goals in the third period, the Grand Rapids Griffins halted Oklahoma City’s home unbeaten streak at nine games, downing the Barons by a score of 3-2 Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.
In the loss, Oklahoma City’s Mark Arcobello extended his point streak to 14 games, tallying his 10th goal of the season late in the third period, when he intercepted an outlet pass from the left corner by Grand Rapids’ Xavier Ouellet near the slot and flipped it over the glove of Griffins’ goalie Scott McCollum. The goal raised Arcobello’s point total to 27 in 14 games with Oklahoma City this season.
Following a scoreless first period, Grand Rapids took a 1-0 lead after a holding penalty to Oklahoma City’s Joey Leach put the Griffins on the power play. With the advantage, the Griffins’ Martin Frk sent a pass from the point to Andrej Nestrasil, who chipped a one timer from the right circle past Barons goaltender Richard Bachman at 8:02 of the second period.
Andrew Miller tied the game at one for the Barons later in the second, when he took a lead pass from Leach in the neutral zone and outskated Grand Rapids defenders before depositing the breakaway attempt past Griffins’ McCollum. The goal at 11:33 of the second was Miller’s first since Dec. 20, with the Oklahoma City winger having been sidelined by injury since Jan. 10.
Grand Rapids took the lead quickly into the third period. With a man advantage thanks to a hooking call on Oklahoma City’s Will Acton late in the second period, the Griffins’ Nick Jensen sent a shot towards the Barons net that Mitch Callahan tipped past Bachman at the 32-second mark for a 2-1 Grand Rapids lead.
The Griffins extended their lead a short while later when, after a several players converged on a loose puck in front of the Barons net, Triston Grant pushed the puck past a crouching Bachman, giving Grand Rapids a 3-1 lead at 3:36 of the third period.
Arcobello’s unassisted goal at 14:15 of the third brought the Barons to within one at 3-2.
The two teams meet again Saturday night in a 7 p.m. start at the Cox Convention Center. The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a limited edition Justin Schultz bobblehead doll, and one fan will win a Volkswagen Jetta in the Barons’ Drive Away Every Saturday promotion. Following the game, Barons players and coaches will be on hand for autographs.
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