The Rampage and the Barons were both coming off losses the night prior to meeting on Saturday in the heart of Oklahoma City. While the Barons carried over their solid final period from the night before, the Rampage would continue the so-so doldrums. But quickly the script would flip and the Rampage would out man, out muscle, and flat out dominate the back half of the game on route to a 5-4 victory.
Jason Williams would score a goal, assisted on by Andrew Miller and Tyler Pitlick, that would give the Barons the lead early on – something that has yet to happen his season. The shot was stout, and actually tore through a seam in the twine at the back of the net. A couple of consecutive penalties were killed by the Barons, as the Rampage struggled to get something going. To end the period, Racine would receive a five minute match penalty that would extend into the second. The stick work of San Antonio was really soggy, and OKC would challenge them in a mighty way.
The Rampage would start the second period with some zip, and it gave Laurent Brossoit and the defenders a workout. Some back and forth penalty shenanigans by both clubs (a double minor from Tyler Pitlick, etc.) led to multiple power plays for OKC. A Rampage unsportsmanlike infraction would allow Jason Williams to score his second of the night. A good screen in front of the net by Mitch Moroz would allow Oscar Klefbom to laser a long distance shot to score a goal of his own only seconds later. Clinging to a healthy 3-0 lead, Shane O’Brien would exit the box (following his unsportsmanlike penalty), and he would receive a pass, make a heckuva move to beat Brossoit. Musil would have a defensive hiccup as Vincent Trocheck would sneak around him, and through Brossoit to make things interesting with 11:00 left in the second. Now 3-2, OKC seemed disoriented, but crept back to right standing. Headed towards the end of the period Iiro Pakarinen would score his second goal of the season with an assist to Klefbom. The Rampage would net one of their own with time expiring. Suddenly the sticks were active, and goaltenders were abused. The second ends with OKC on top, 4-3
The third period was down right awful for OKC, and the lead would quickly dicipate. Having issues staying out of the box, the Rampage would score two with an extra skater to overtake the squad from OKC. Ryan Martindale, in a bit of a redemptive role, scored the equalizer to add insult to injury. Passing was abysmal for the Barons, and it was bound to catch up with them. It did.
In summation the Barons have yet to put together a full sixty minutes of hockey, and this has become a common theme with OKC for two seasons. The PP works, the PK is good for the most part, but the youth and prospect quality of Todd Nelson’s squad deems it difficult to get a grasp early on on whether or not this is a good team or just a possibly good team. I think they are good, even potentially great, despite a 5-4 loss on Saturday night.
Lineups for each team: