Grumble, grumble, grumble. The Oklahoma City Barons, desperately needing a victory in regulation, pushed their chances of making the playoffs down the long staircase yesterday afternoon in Charlotte. The Checkers, having defeated the Barons in a shootout the day before, would again out-skill OKC, and gain two points in the standings. As it stands today, the Oklahoma City Barons are in desperate need of points. Charlotte is ahead by four, Oklahoma City has an extra game to play, and suddenly my stomach feels sour.
Matching first period goals, scored less than a minute apart, had the team looking neck and neck with the Charlotte Checkers for twenty minutes. Taylor Fedun, with an active offensive stick, would net his ninth of the year while centerman Victor Rask placed one in goal for the Checkers to bring his tally to fourteen. Richard Bachman would stop a whopping fourteen shots in the first period. Oklahoma City somehow only took five shots, but ended the period in a 1-1 tie. Both teams were extremely careful not to give the opposition a “leg up”, and thus stayed out of the box for the most part across multiple periods.
The second period featured goals by Will Acton, Steve Pinizzotto, and Ben Eager. The Checkers matched that total before the eleventh minute o of the period arrived. That’s six goals scored in 10:25, and suddenly we had a very interesting game. With matching goals, and a ping-pong-infused game on our hands, the remaining thirty minutes were executed with precision as neither team was willing to break nor take a major chance.
The shot totals were thirteen to fourteen with Charlotte just squeezing out the extra shot. The goaltending dual was steady, and Bachman looked poised.
This was a game, that after sixty minutes of play, felt like one that could last an eternity. OKC had some magnificient moments in the five minutes of OT, but alas a shootout was had.
Here are the lackluster results:
For the second night in a row, the Barons would give away two points to the team they are chasing in the standings. Despite adding two points to their belt by heading into OT, OKC desperately needed all four points. The hill gets steep and treacherous from this point forward