Round two of Oklahoma City vs. Grand Rapids took place on Saturday night, and this go-round didn’t favor the Barons. A 4-3 loss ended the winning streak or at least standing point streak of the Barons whom hadn’t lost a game since January 30th. The game was good, not great for OKC, and in the end Grand Rapids took care of business when they needed to.
The first period began with a bang as David Musil unloaded a shot from a pretty good distance. That shot was deflected into the net, and around starting Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazk who would eventually face nearly forty shots on the night. C.J. Stretch would be credited with the tip-in and in the first eighteen seconds of play, the Barons led 1-0. The Barons would be undone by a slew of penalties in the first period including four straight. Near the eight minute mark the Griffins would gain the equalizer while on the power play. With a tie game, the Barons found that living in the box isn’t a recipe for success. Nonetheless, Steve Pinizzotto would get his seventh goal of the year with a great assist from playmaker extraordinaire Mark Arcobello. Despite the penalties, the Barons would end the period with a 2-1 lead.
Richard Bachman would again be super in this game, a trend that has developed as the defensive core in front of him has improved. Ten minutes in to the second period, following a slash by Mark Arcobello, the Griffins tied the game at two all. Three minutes later Grand Rapids would strike again, and the Barons would be playing on their heels. The now 3-2 lead felt insurmountable, but the Barons would prove resilient.
The third period rolled along, and the times felt desperate for OKC. A pair of interference calls for the visiting team pointed to signs of distress for OKC, but it was Mark Arcobello, being clutch/stellar as usual. His fourth goal as a Baron this season, with assists given to Brad Hunt and Brandon Davidson breathed new life into the baby Oilers. They would carefully defend the puck, but the Griffins pushed very hard on the young defenders. Centerman Cory Emmerton put the puck past Bachman on a semi-broken play to take the lead at 4-3, and break the tie once and for all. The Wings-affiliated Griffins put on a clinic of puck defense, and were able to keep the Barons off the scoreboard.
The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 4-3.