Having lost twice to Rockford at home, the Barons traveled to San Antonio to face the Rampage, a South Div opponent that is in the same boat, rowing the same direction as OKC. They need points, and they’ll bowl over you to get them.
The Barons would indeed beat the Rampage, but they’d play a game of wits with themselves as they’d give away too many chances as a result of late third period penalties when the game inched closer. The cozy confines of the box wasn’t a problem until it was a problem. Fortunately, the team persevered.
Doing what they’ve done for four straight games, the Barons would score first. C.J. Stretch would handle the puck behind the net, spin towards the right of Dov Grumet-Morris, then pirouette the puck towards the net and in. Assists to Brett Clark and Philippe Cornet as OKC takes a one goal lead early. Olivier Roy would be super sturdy (stopping 15 shots in the period)in net despite a few minor hiccups from defensive players and awkward offensive positioning. The Barons would kill off one penalty from Tanner House, and they’d escape the quickened first period with a 1-0 lead.
It took nearly thirty minutes for the Rampage to give up their first penalty, and they’d do it twice in a matter of two minutes. And the Oklahoma City Barons would earn their first power play goal of the game, and their second goal of the night, via a Mark Arcobello hard angled shot. Cornet would earn his second assist of the night, and Toni Rajala would add one to his weaponry. The Rampage would show life, as they headed towards fourteen shots in the period. As Martin Marincin and Andrew Hotham found themselves slightly out of position, Eric Selleck would whistle a puck through the legs of Olivier Roy as San Antonio crawls back within one. The final four minutes and 45 seconds wore down, and the Barons would be left nursing a 2-1 lead.
Near the eleven minute mark of the third period, the “grinder” line of Darcy Hordichuk, Tanner House, and Curtis Hamilton kept the puck in the offensive zone like sensational hockey players. Diving, grabbing, clutching, sashaying, winning, pucking, jabbing, and any other ing word that you find fitting. When Grumet-Morris finally gloved the puck, it kept the face-off in the Barons O-zone. They’d win it, and eventually Toni Rajala would wheel the puck down the left wing, stop on a dime in the back of the net, wheel to the right just a bit, and hit C.J. Stretch nearly on his stick. The rebound would end up with Martin Marincin who let loose a heat-seeking shot that put the Barons on top 3-1. Things appeared to be running smoothly for OKC as they gave equal times to defensive protection and offensive puck control, then the penalties appears. And the wormhole opened wide. Here they are:
15:10 – Arcobello “Delay of Game” (2 minutes)
16:24 – Teubert “Slashing” (2 minutes)
16:44 – Clark “Interference” (2 minutes); Unsportsmanlike Conduct for challenging and official (2 minutes)
The Rampage would be on a two man advantage for 56 seconds. Then Brett Clark would give a little cross check to Jed Ortmeyer and then elbow dump him to the ice. Some, including Jim Byers called it a “GIGANTIC embellishment”, while the Rampage fans thought it was a bit to brutal. Nonetheless, Clark didn’t like the call, whispered sweet nothings into the ear of the referee, and he’d get tagged with a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Clark would immediately head to the bench and serve his time alongside Arcobello and Teubert. The Barons would need to kill a huge penalty(s) with their best PK guy in the box. Dane Byers, doing yeoman-like work on the kill, would help keep the puck out of the net. As would Olivier Roy. But as Colten Teubert exited and box, and Grumet-Morris headed to the bench, the final moments would still be decided by a two-man extra Rampage team. They’d eventually score to inch within a goal. The goal, coming with about ninety seconds left would prove to be a little too late. Dan Byers would suffer a penalty with two seconds left, and the Rampage had a remarkable face-off win that Olivier Roy had to shun quickly.
Despite the Barons late penalties, they withstood a final period push by the Rampage. They’d win the game, 3-2 and take three out of six possible points from the three-in-three.