The Oklahoma City Barons played the Charlotte Checkers on Tuesday evening, and they would soundly defeat them 4-1. The Checkers played a seemingly lifeless game despite the high shot totals and lone goal. They are a team on the brink of crashing and burning or potentially getting better, and on a Tuesday night in North Carolina the Barons found them on the wrong side of that tipping scale.
Richard Bachman would start against Drew MacIntyre at the other end. For “The Biz” the game was near perfection. For MacIntyre it was a struggle early, and that put Charlotte in a hole to begin the matchup. Five shots faced, two goals allowed, and Drew MacIntyre would have to be really solid down the stretch to get his team back into the game.
A second period goal by Brendan Woods pulled them ever so closely to the Barons lead, but Kellen Jones would whistle in a shot (his first of the season in the AHL) to put the OKC lead back to two goals. An empty netter by Jason Williams would be his tenth goal of the season, and it would extend the lead with time winding down.
In the last 6:00 of play Richard Bachman was visibly gimpy – stretching at the net, posturing himself when the puck was at the other end – and Laurent Brossoit would come in to relieve him in the final minutes of the game. Bachman would immediately head down the tunnel, and Brossoit would finish nicely.
In Bachman’s absence, and with no update on his injury at the time of this post, Tyler Bunz has been recalled from Wichita where he has been playing with the Thunder of the ECHL. Our very own, Patricia Teter, has been keeping a close eye on his play, and the Thunder as a whole. You can check out her blog at Artful Puck (read it…DAILY!). Here is her take on how Bunz has played through the first two months (and then some) of the season:
Bunz had a very good November — two shutouts, a 0.920 SV%, with a 4 – 3 – 0 – 1 record. December has been very rough on the entire team with their road trip to Canada, New York, and the return home but he is expected to rebound quickly. Bunz is currently ranked 7th in the ECHL in GAA, and he is tied in 1st with two shutouts.
While they await Bunz in Charlotte, the play-by-play voice of the Checkers, Jason Shaya, suited up this morning as an unofficial Oklahoma City Baron. Photographic proof below:
— Charlotte Checkers (@CheckersHockey) December 17, 2014
The PK for the Barons has suddenly become REALLY REALLY good, and has stopped roughly every short-handed chance except for two in about thirty tries. That’s impressive, and something that OKC had been struggling with in the early parts of the season.
Gerry Fleming would earn his first victory as the head coach of the Oklahoma City Barons. Kelly Buchberger was his assistant on the bench for much of the evening while Tony Borgford stayed in the press box for the first forty minutes, but returned to the bench for the third (a typical arrangement even when Nelson was around).
The Barons stay put in Charlotte for another game on Thursday before returning home for a Saturday / Sunday two-for against the Rockford IceHogs.
Oklahoma City Barons Lines & Pairs: