Oh Barons. You show us just enough to keep us happy, put a smile on our face, cover it with duct tape and then rip it off very very slowly. And on Saturday night, the Barons were shutout by the far superior Texas Stars in an ugly game (for the visitors) from start to finish. The final score of 4-0 likely doesn’t tell the whole story, but for those that watched/listened to the game it tells enough.
In the first period, the Stars would score twice. Once at even strength courtesy of a heavy Jamie Oleksiak point shot tipped in by Bretton Cameron, and then a power play goal following a closing the hand on the puck penalty by Theo Peckahm. Both teams would cover each other with penalties while creating back and forth man advantages/disadvantages and four on fours. It was a mess of a period for OKC. From Toni Rajala’s defensive awareness breaking down on the first goal to Brett Clark having positional issues on the penalty kill – it wasn’t the start the Barons wanted, and starting Barons goaltender, Niko Hovinen, showed there is still some rust in his game as he let in both goals in only eight shots. Woof.
The second period wasn’t much better. Randy Jones, newcomer to the Barons blue line, seemed highly irrational on the night. He was involved in a fight with Hubert Labrie, was assessed a five minute fighting penalty plus an extra two for roughing. All this occurred in the opening two minutes and instantly put the Barons back on their heels. Any momentum swing they wanted to shoot for was quickly dwindling. And again the Stars would make good on some Barons mistakes, including a really bad giveaway by Taylor Fedun behind his own net that turned into a Justin Dowling goal as the home team would take a 3-0 lead. Despite a late period power play chance for OKC, the offense wasn’t able to produce much of anything. Through two periods, the Barons only mustered 12 shots, and likely not even half that in chances. Just a dreadful first 40 minutes of play.
The third period was a desperate one. The Stars would gift the Barons with a power play opportunity around the eight minute mark of the period, but OKC would squander it, then proceed to fall to pieces. Philippe Cornet with an interference penalty, Theo Peckham with a silly boarding penalty plus a game misconduct, Randy Jones with an abuse of an official penalty – it was just a brutal and ugly third period for OKC. Matt Fraser would seal the deal making it 4-0 on a late power play opportunity for Texas. To make things worse, the Barons “forget” to place someone in the penalty box to serve a penalty and are whistled for an illegal substitution or too many men on the ice whichever you’d like to call it.
The night ends with the Stars again beating the Barons, this time in a 4-0 shutout courtesy of Jack Campbell and his surging teammates from Cedar Park.