Playing their second school day game in a week, as well as their second in a week against the San Antonio Rampage, the Oklahoma City Barons would give up three goals in the first, two goals in the second, and one goal in the third en route to a completely lopsided affair. Five unanswered goals by the Rampage led to 6-1 final.
The goaltending battle was one to watch. Tyler Bunz, needing to remain solid with Jason LaBarbera heading to OKC soon, would start but not finish for the Barons. For the Rampage, it was Jacob Markstrom who has NHL experience, but sometimes can be tamed by the meekest of AHL squads.
Here are the lines/pairs for the Oklahoma City Barons:
Joey Crabb would score his third of the season for the Rampage on a pretty ugly defensive series for prospect Martin Marincin. With the Rampage on the board first, and in the first four minutes to boot, Tyler Bunz and the defense would need to step it up about five notches. Nearing the halfway point of the first period, Lander would hit Linus Omark on the right wing inches from the goal crease, and somehow he whiffs on a gift wrapped scoring attempt. Sir Linus made things slightly better by drawing a penalty to put the Barons on their first power play opportunity of the season. A minute into the 2:00 power play, the Rampage would be whistled for a cross check, and a :53 5 on 3 was forthcoming. A near giveaway by Omark, a broken stick slapshot by Fedun, and the 5 on 3 was completely wasted. Off a faceoff in the Barons zone, Jed Ortemeyer would rifle a shot around Tyler Bunz, and the Rampage would go up 2-0. A high stick by Taylor Fedun gave the Rampage their first power play attempt of the game while nursing a 2-0 lead. In the final 2 minutes of play Kale Kessy would be hit with a hooking penalty, and Ben Eager would follow it up with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The 5 on 3 for the Rampage earned Trocheck a goal, and San Antonio a 3-0 lead with a few minutes remaining in the first period.
Taylor Fedun had an awful first period including a bad defensive stance on the first goal, and the penalty taken immediately following the second goal. But it was the entire defensive stance of the Barons that led to a complete sixty minute undressing.
In the second period, the damage continued as the Rampage scored another pair of even strength goals. Although a later period goal by Martin Marincin was a welcome sight, there was just way too much hurt already being delved out. The frustration boiled over as Omark would be whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the second by the Barons, and the power play troubles continued. The Rampage, being the most penalized team in the AHL, would give OKC a whopping eight chances with an extra skater, and they never scored. The second twenty also saw a goaltending change. After stopping 22 of 26, Tyler Bunz would be relieved by newcomer Laurent Brossoit. He would let in another two on only 12 shots, and the goaltending troubles continued.
The third period featured 14 shots by the Oilers, but a lot of good goaltending from Jacob Markstrom. In the end, the Barons would suffer a brutal defeat at the hands of a division rival. Now under .500, the Barons have a long trek from now until Christmas with tons of time on the road. The struggles of Tyler Bunz are every bit a product of the defense in front of him, but he obviously needs to be better. Jason LaBarbera heading to OKC might level the playing field just a bit, and the Barons can begin to make strides towards getting better.
Two players on this squad are a positive in the +/- category. Austin Fyten (+3) and Brad Hunt (+1). Hunt, in particular, has seen his TOI go up dramatically in the last week or two. On the other end of the spectrum is Brandon Davidson (who was scratched today) and Oscar Klefbom (who seems to be floundering a bit).
Time to get better.