Barons Beat Houston 4-0 In First Preseason Game

Photo courtesy of Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved.

At the twelve second mark of the first period, Justin Schultz was called for an interference penalty. That, in a nutshell, was how the game started. A little uneasy, a little tepid, a little like a first preseason game should be. But when the team settled down, the play quickened, and even without Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the Barons looked like the team we saw make a run at the Calder Cup. And in an exhibition setting, they seem poised to be a threat to go deep again this season.

It’s preseason, so in typical fashion, people tend to say things that are a bit overbearing. “This team is great!” or “Wow! What a win!” and indeed those things are so true. And it took a period of getting your feet wetin the first twenty minutes to get to that point. But with a healthy dose of perspective, we dissect the victory.

After a five shot a piece first period, the Barons finally pressed harder in the second period. On the team’s second 5 on 3 opportunity of the second period, Ryan Martindale wins an offensive faceoff, Dan Ringwald drops a bad pass in deep, but Teemu Hartikainen chases it down and drops it towards the front of the net. Martindale eventually punches it in. Barons up 1-0.

Less than half a minute later with the Barons still on the PP, Justin Schultz unleashed a shot that whizzed past visiting goaltender, Matt Hackett. The Barons added eleven shots to their first period five, and now led the shot total 16-9 as the second period ended.

The third period solidified the Barons win as Mark Arcobello and Kristians Pelss tallied goals.

Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz shared the goaltending duties and won the rare two-tender shutout.

The Houston Aeros shot themselves in the foot early with the double man advantage situations that are difficult to overcome. It was Justin Schultz and Teemu Hartikainen who seemed lightyears beyond both the competition and perhaps their teammates. And that’s the way it should be.

Both Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz played well, and displayed their very different, but very effective styles of play. Roy, the strategic surgeon, is smallish but efficient. Bunz, more naturally gifted, has a knack for the game and coolness that comes with it. He’s going to be a star.

In all, the night was great for OKC. Good attendance for a free exhibition (Infant Crisis Services donations filled an entire van; $1000 given to the cause), good play on the ice, good energy in the arena. It was a pretty promising night. The Barons and Aeros will meet again on Saturday night at 7pm, with a slightly altered lineup. Still with no Eberle, no Nugent-Hopkins, and completely realigned as the cuts and reassignments get made.

Speaking of reassignments, Tyler Bunz tweeted last night:


Other cuts have likely been made, but this is the only one that we have a clear grasp of. Hunter, Maylan, Keserich(cut Thursday) are all bound for a cut/reassignment. We’ll pass those along as they are made known.

Scoring Breakdown

1st goal
Ryan Martindale
Teemu Hartikainen (Assist)
Dan Ringwald (Assist)

2nd goal
Justin Schultz
Ryan Martindale (Assist)
Teemu Hartikainen (Assist)

3rd Goal
Mark Arcobello
Antti Tyrvainen (Assist)
Taylor Fedun (Assist)

4th Goal
Kristians Pelss
Brandon Davidson (Assist)
Anton Lander (Assist)