The Oklahoma City Barons, and their wispy lineup, came to Toronto for a day-game somewhat ready to battle the Marlies. Historically speaking, Ricoh Coliseum is brutal for OKC, and the day would start rather comely, but end in an eerily familiar demise.
The Barons would lose their fifth straight, giving away two straight goals in the third, to be overtaken by the Toronto Marlies 3-2.
We will get to the sideways lineup in just a bit, but let’s begin with David Ling. The 40 year old, whom was subject of much a joke on twitter, would score the games first goal. It was a vintage rifle of a shot, that awakened our senses quickly at such an early start time in Toronto. Yes, it was a great shot, and yes it was surprising, but the remainder of the game would be tepid both for Ling and for a handful of the other OKC Barons.
Following Ling’s goal in the first period was Troy Bodie nearly two minutes later to bring Toronto neck-and-neck with the Barons. It ’twas a sluggish start for the Barons, the Ling goal aside, as they would barely unfurl eight shots, and quietly rely on Laurent Brossoit to mop up the sleepiness in front of him. Twice the post would be “rung” in the first period, and the fact that we would end the first twenty minutes with a tie game was a remarkable feat. 14 of 15 for Brossoit in period one. A 1-1 tie.
The second period gave Josh Winquist his seventh goal of the season, and another lead for the Oklahoma City Barons. Winquist, who entered the lineup over Jackson Houck, is now clinging to a five game point streak when it seems that the world is caving in on the team around him. The perfectly saucered pass by C.J. Stretch caught Winquist in front of the net, on one of the best shifts the Barons would have on the night. Unfortunately, it was the final goal the Barons would score. The second period ended 2-1, Barons.
The third period was poor defensively for OKC, which happens to depleted teams, and Byron Froese would pot his 13th and 14th goals of the season. Froese, putting up the best numbers of his career, made two different defensive pairs look silly as the Barons attempted late game line changes. Likewise, Brossoit fell to the wayside stopping only 7 of 9. It is easy to point to defense and goaltending for losses, but the forwards weren’t helping much either. The center position, without Bogdan Yakimov, is lacking a good two-way game. So much so that speed and wings force the team in to way too many mistakes.
The third periods ended with the Marlies on top 3-2, and the Barons losing their fifth straight.
Scratches: Jackson Houck (healthy), Chase Schaber (sickness), Gernat, Yakimov, C. Hamilton, Aliu, Khaira, Mele, C. JOnes, Pinizzotto, Kessy, Lain (injured).
The weird thing about these scratches is Yakimov and C. Hamilton. They were listed as “out by sick” in previous games, but now are listed as injured. Either someone labeled them incorrectly or something else is amuck. Concussions? Perhaps. Undetermined injuries? Perhaps. Regardless, the Barons have lost much of their core, and that’s rough.