After a 3-2 loss the night before, the Oklahoma City Barons would travel to San Antonio where another 3-2 score would be considered. However, OKC was on the “good” end of this one as the team dug themselves out of an early two goal deficit, score twice in the second, once in the third, and netted two consecutive power play goals en route to a one goal lead against a South Division opponent.
No Darcy Hordichuk. No Ben Eager. No Colten Teubert. The Barons would travel light to San Antonio following a loss on home ice the night before. Hordichuk and Eager would be left home, as Todd Nelson puts it, “they aren’t used to the overnight travel like we are”. That’s awkward. The reason Colten Tuebert didn’t make the trip was due to a rolled ankle. But what it all really boils down to is there just isn’t enough bunk space with such a heavy playing roster. So the team soliders on.
Jared Gomes and John McFarland scored goals for the Rampage in the opening twelve minutes of play. It appeared that a sulky night was in the works for Yann Danis as those two goals would come with only eight shots on net. Not entirely because of his “problems”, but really due to an overall defensive scheme for OKC that wasn’t committed to breaking down an opponent, the team looked lumpy. And thus destined for another defeat.
But then the second period began.
The Barons roared back with two goals of their own. Taylor Fedun and Philippe Cornet turned the tides in favor of OKC (with the second goal coming on the power play, hooray). With a two to two tie following forty minutes, the needs for another Barons goal became of the utmost importance.
After a tripping penalty from Gomes, the Barons would strike again on the power play, but this time in the third period. Toni Rajala with assists from Jonathan Cheechoo and Mark Arcobello would be just enough to place OKC on top. The remaining twelve minutes or so were tight, but solid from the Barons perspective. Yann and the D played super, Rampage goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris was fantastic, but in the end the 33 shots taken by OKC compared to only eighteen by San Antonio proved the deciding factor.
The Oklahoma City Barons defeated the San Antonio Rampage 3-2 on Saturday night.
I genuinely LOVE a Hordichuk/Eager -less roster. Here were your forward lines:
Toni Rajala – Mark Arcobello – Jonathan Cheechoo
Josh Green – C.J. Stretch – Philippe Cornet
Curtis Hamilton – Anton Lander – Dane Byers
Chris VandeVelde – Ryan Martindale – Tanner House
So much to talk about here. But let’s start at the top.
Toni Rajala makes his debut on the first line, which is something that should have happened weeks ago. Sure Philippe Cornet has been really solid this month, but Rajala is Mr Personality on the ice. Creativity oozes from his fingertips. And this keeps Arco and Cheechoo honest. They have to fight along with Rajala to get crazy with the puck.
Nelson seems to really like C.J. Stretch at center. I prefer him at wing. I also greatly dislike the sideboards game going on with Josh Green of late. I’d swap those two, but don’t think it’ll happen. Nelson must see something I don’t see.
Anton Lander pops up on the third line where you’d typically see CVV or Martindale. While I greatly dislike separating Rajala from Lander, this somehow works – at least on this night.
And finally, a fourth line, of nothing, but, centermen. Interesting to note that the Oilers struggle to keep healthy centers on the team, and are troubled by the depth, and that’s certainly the case. However, on the farm the depth is pretty great. And that fourth line looked pretty quick. They were cranky and quick. This won’t be a thing for far too long, but enjoy the interesting setup for as long as you can.
Yann Danis. He’s become a pretty average minor leaguer, and that’s not a good thing. Not good for him nor his team. I partially blame the whirlwind nature of the callup and “three guys on the farm” mentality that has reared its ugly head. It’s a full house, and finding any type of rhythm has been very difficult. I say it weekly here on Tend the Farm, but if the Barons have any chance of making it to the postseason it’s because Yann plays good, and he plays good now.
Three road games in the coming days means the Barons need to regroup and earn five or six points. That means a winning streak is in order which is a tall task to ask of a team that plays up/down depending on the night. Get these, Barons.