Saturday night, the Oklahoma City Barons were in control of their own destiny as they faced the Charlotte Checkers. The feeble nature of the Barons squad, with its missing pieces in various shapes due to callups and injuries, has meant that offense, and threat have needed to come from unlikely sources. As they have fashioned offensive lines and defensive pairs the best they could, the OKC coaching staff has had its hands full down the stretch. Saturday was a prime example.
As time ticked off the clock in a 2-1 game led by Charlotte, Taylor Fedun would unleash a rocket to put the game into overtime at Time Warner Arena. In the end, the Checkers were too much, and the Barons would lose another shoot out to move to a 1-8 record in the skills competition.
For much of the game, the Barons played to their strengths – good on the edges, stingy in the middle, tough without the puck – but Charlotte was able to score twice, once in the second, and again in the third. For OKC all their offense came in the final three minutes of regulation.
After going 0 for 3 on the power play for much of the game, the Barons own Matt Ford was able to notch a goal, his 21st of the year.
Charlotte tender, John Muse, was really good stopping 32 shots, and allowing only two goals. Likewise, Richard Bachman would face fewer shot goals than usual (30) to stymy the Charlotte offense that is usual quick, and shot happy.
As Taylor Fedun put in the game tying goal, it felt like a bit of destiny for a brief moment. Both teams were extra careful in the OT frame, and to the shoot out we’d go where the results looked like this:
Oklahoma City Shootout
23 Jack Combs No Goal
18 Andrew Miller No Goal
17 Alex Lavoie Goal
20 C.J. Stretch No Goal
29 Brad Hunt No Goal
10 Curtis Hamilton No Goal
15 Matthew Pistilli No Goal
12 Brody Sutter No Goal
25 Chris Terry No Goal
14 Justin Shugg Goal
23 Victor Rask No Goal
24 Matt Marquardt Goal
The lack of “skill” for the Barons has forced them to stumble in shoot outs where they really seem raw and emotionless, but we know better. This is a squad with heart, they just lack the intangibles to compete in the shoot out without players like Linus Omark, Mark Arcobello, Roman Horak, or Anton Lander. Then again, the team has struggled when those gents were present as well, so perhaps it’s just dumb luck that they can’t win post-OT.
Oklahoma City Barons Lineup:
Curtis Hamilton-Ewanyk-G. Miller
Tuohimma, Arcobello, Horak, Ryan Hamilton, Kessy, MacIntyre, Leach
The same two teams battle tonight. Fingers crossed.