Photo by Steve Christy
The Barons touched down (or rather pulled up) in Cedar Park for a Sunday/Tuesday set of games with the impressively strong Texas Stars. Richard Bachman, facing his former team would need to be excellent in this one. But his counterpart, at the other end of the ice, was positioned to be equally as stingy.
With Mark Arcobello in the lineup, and contributing early, the Barons and Stars would play one wildly entertaining Sunday matinee.
A high shot total from the Texas Stars, and some stick wizardry by defender Jamie Oleksiak wasn’t enough to prevent the Oklahoma City Barons from earning a one goal lead. C.J. Stretch, working hard, drew a slashing call which led to a smart power play moment. Mark Arcobello cradled a puck on the wall, sent it to Lander, who then centered it for Ryan Hamilton. OKC breaks the scoring barrier first. With roughly two minutes to play in the period, a goal-mouth scramble ensues in front of Richard Bachman, and Ryan Button punches the puck in to tie the game at one all. Moments later, Austin Fyten earns his first AHL goal, and put Oklahoma City on top after the first twenty minutes, 2-1.
Three even strength goals would be scored in less than four minutes of the second period, two by the Texas Stars. Mike Hedden and Brett Ritchie scored a pair of goals sandwiched around one by Matt Ford, and we suddenly found ourselves indulging in a 3-3 tied hockey game. With nine minutes remaining in the period, Roman Horak would unleash a heavy shot from the face-off dot to best Nilstorp and give OKC the edge again, 4-3. A gnarly turnover by the Stars allows Will Acton to make it a 5-3 Barons lead. A string of ill-advised penalties for Texas felt like Christmas gifts in January for the visiting team, but Nilstorp buckled down. The penalty kill of Texas seemed to be on the up until a bad clearing pass allowed Brad Hunt to score a power play goal ten seconds in to the two minutes to put the Barons in full control at 6-3. Ryan Hamilton and Francis Wathier dropped the gloves with a minute remaining with the former earning an extra two minutes for instigating. The Barons would kill 56 seconds worth of the penalty with the other time coming to start the third. The Barons seemed confident, and in control.
After killing of the remainder of the penalty, Texas revived a chance at victory when Curtis McKenzie scored his sixteenth of the year, with an assist to Sceviour. Both teams would jockey for possession, but it was the prodigal son, Mark Arcobello that scored his very first goal of the 2013-14 season over halfway through the final period. That would be enough, the fight had subsided in Texas, and OKC would escape with an impressive 7-4 victory.
– Ryan Hamilton left the third with what appeared to be a lower body injury.
– Mark Arcobello contributes instantly, that’s nice to see.
– Texas hasn’t suddenly become a pushover and the Barons haven’t become a dominate force. Things, games, weird situations happen. However, this is the sorta game that OKC needed. Good on them.