The Oklahoma City Barons had managed to not be shutout for the duration of two Calder Cup Playoff rounds. They’d proven that they had weapons of mass construction, who constantly bettered themselves through the month of May. Yet June has begun with two straight losses, and two straight shutouts. On Saturday night the Grand Rapids Griffins again kept the Barons off the scoreboard beating them soundly, 3-0, and taking a 3-2 series lead before heading back to Michigan for the final two games (if necessary).
The storyline is very familiar to that of the game less than 24 hours prior. Special teams. The Barons went 0/6 on the power play which is anything but special, and seemingly let the Griffins have their way in neutral ice resulting in a sad-sack penalty kill. Grand Rapids would score a short-hander and a power play goal to complete the special teams double play. Even an overly aggressive spear by Tomas Tatar that gave the OKC Barons two minutes on the power play to begin the third period…just wasn’t going to happen.
Ben Eager took a ton of really stupid penalties (board, interference, slashing), the team as a whole looked completely under-whelming, and the disaster continued for Oklahoma City as they’d take another 37 shots on net, and have nothing to show for it. That’s 77 shots in two nights, and not a goal in site. Things are getting sticky in Bricktown these days.
So the Grand Rapids Griffins would round out their three game trip to Oklahoma City with a 7-0 spanking across two games. Both teams will head to Michigan for game six and possibly (fingers crossed) game seven. The Barons are officially on the ropes, and the momentum has swung the wrong direction, and with little foreknowledge.
Oklahoma City Barons Starting Lineup:
Philippe Cornet – Mark Arcobello – Jonathan Cheechoo
Toni Rajala – C.J. Stretch – Teemu Hartikainen
Josh Green – Chris VandeVelde – Tyler Pitlick
Ben Eager – Ryan Martindale – Antti Tyrvainen
Martin Marincin – Taylor Fedun
Brandon Davidson – Garrett Stafford
Randy Jones – Andrew Hotham