Photo by Steven Christy
The Oklahoma City Barons, now led by prodigal son Mark Arcobello, saddled up for round two against the Texas Stars in a Cedar Park. The Sunday affair was extremely one-sided with OKC playing king of the mountain. Could they keep the Stars down twice in 72 hours?
Richard Bachman would start for OKC, and the Stars would move to goaltender Josh Robinson. The hope was that the Barons would continue the greatness while Texas would pray for a revival.
In the early moments of period one, the Stars seemed poised and prepared. Travis Morin motored near Bachman for the first scoring attempt of the first period. Likewise, the other Stars were firing on all cylinders. But as these games tend to go, Mark Arcobello scored the first goal of the game, and his fifth point in just four periods of Barons hockey. Taylor Fedun would nab the second goal of the game after a play developed behind the net. Robinson would look a bit gangly early, and the Barons would earn a 2-0 first period lead.
In the first moments of period number two, Arcobello and Anton Lander would get whistled for intertwining penalties, and the best power play in the league would get a five on three chance. Bachman was good, the defense and penalty killing was solid, and the Barons would hang on to the two goal lead. But nearing the six minute mark Jamie Oleksiak took a thick shot that rattled past Bachman, and the Stars would inch closer to make it 2-1. Two recent Idaho Steelhounds, Austin Fyten and Ryan Button would fist tango near the mid-way point of the period in hopes of firing up their perspective squads. Both would get five for fighting with an extra two for removing their helmets. We move on. After a Stars penalty expired, Bachman would make a huge save in the Barons end only to have the play slingshot towards the other end. Jack Combs would net one for OKC on a brilliant give and go to increase the lead to 3-1.
The Stars pushed the Barons into their own zone often in the third period, but some smart defending, goaltending, and post-ringing kept OKC on top. But Mr. 66, Travis Morin, would notch his 66th point of the season for the Stars to push the game to 3-2. OKC would hunker down, and continue some smart defense amid some headstrong and desperate offense from Texas. Another Arcobello penalty gave the Stars a chance with roughly seven minutes to go. OKC killed it, and the five minute mark approached. Instead of Ben Eager taking a late third period penalty in crunch time, it was a Stars player. Anton Lander would laser a shot from the left wing to buy some insurance, but it was Ben Eager that would score the empty netter to end the game 5-2.
Oklahoma City would defeat the Texas Stars 5-2. It would mark the first time all season that the Barons have strung together three wins. It came at the hands of two of the best teams in the AHL – Toronto and Texas. What’s in the Kool-Aid?
Friday and Sunday the Barons play in Charlotte. The Checkers are a team notorious for owning the baby Oilers. Winning one of two would be great. Winning both would be splendiferous.