OMARK'S CAREER NIGHT DOWNS MARLIES
By Cassie Gage,
OKLAHOMA CITY – Linus Omark had a career-best five goals as the Oklahoma City Barons defeated the Toronto Marlies, 7-6, in a shootout Sunday evening at the Cox Convention Center. The Barons (9-5-1-0) put up 50 shots against Marlies starter James Reimer. Oklahoma City starter Martin Gerber allowed three first period goals to Toronto (4-6-0-2) and rebounded to get his eighth win of the season.
Toronto’s Joey Crabb scored the game’s opening goal at 3:04 in the opening period. Crabb deflected a Marcel Mueller pass behind Gerber to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
The Barons evened the score at 1-1 on an unassisted breakaway goal by Liam Reddox at the 9:29 mark of the first period. It was his seventh goal of the season.
Mike Zigomanis regained a 2-1 lead for the Marlies with his first goal of the season, a power play goal at 15:12. Toronto extended that margin to 3-1 on a Darryl Boyce deflection at 17:20. The Marlies went up 4-1 just nine seconds into the second period when Jay Rosehill put a Boyce pass behind Gerber.
The Barons answered with Omark’s first goal at the 10:33 mark of the period. Omark put the puck past Reimer on a pass from Reddox to cut the lead in half. Omark added his second of the game at 12:40 on a power play as the Barons trailed 4-3.
Matt Lashoff responded for the Marlies, putting Toronto up 5-3 at the 17:41 mark of the period. Omark scored his third of the game just over a minute later at 18:26 on a centering pass from behind the net by Ryan O’Marra.
Nazem Kadri scored at 6:27 in the third period to push the Marlies ahead 6-4. Omark added a career-best fourth goal at the 8:06 mark of the third. Omark’s goal made him the first player to score four or more goals in an AHL game this season.
Oklahoma City had a chance to tie the game late in the third when Omark’s shot hit the post during a power play. Seconds later another Marlies penalty gave the Barons 1:12 of 5-on-3. At the 19:13 mark in the third period, Omark bulleted a shot past Reimer to tie the game at 6-all and force overtime.
After a scoreless overtime period, the two teams headed to the shootout for just the second time each this year. Omark and Teemu Hartikainen scored for the Barons and Josh Engel and Kadri added goals for the Marlies before Milan Kytnar gave Oklahoma City a 3-2 lead in the eighth round of the shootout. Gerber then denied Dale Mitchell to seal the 7-6 victory for the Barons.
Oklahoma City continues its eight-game homestand Tuesday evening with against the San Antonio Rampage. The contest begins at 7:05 p.m. CT at the Cox Convention Center.
· Oklahoma City was 1-for-7 on the penalty kill Sunday evening. The Barons entered the game ranked first in the AHL and have now allowed just six power play goals in 76 times short. Oklahoma City has killed 65 of the last 69 opponent’s power play opportunities (94.2 percent) in the last 14 games.
· The Barons scored six goals on the afternoon, their fifth time with five or more goals this season. Oklahoma City had six goals against Texas Friday evening and had a season-best eight at Houston on Oct. 17.
· Oklahoma City participated in its second shootout of the season. Oklahoma City previously defeated Grand Rapids 5-4 on Oct. 29.
· The Barons scored three power play goals on Sunday.
· Linus Omark scored a season high five goals Saturday. It was the first time he scored four or more goals in his professional career.
· Omark entered the game with five goals on the season and with the five goals moved into the team lead with 10.
· Omark was the 10th player in the AHL to record a hat trick this season and the first to score four or more goals in a game.
· Omark was the first AHL player to score five goals in a game since Toronto’s Jiri Tlusty had five against Syracuse on Feb. 18, 2009.
· Omark was one of four AHL players with hat tricks on Saturday (Jordan Knackstedt, Providence ; Bobby Butler, Binghamton ; and Mats Zuccarello, Hartford ).
· Omark ended the game at +3.
· Liam Reddox’s first period goal was his first since Oct. 29 (at Grand Rapids).
· Reddox had a goal and three assists for four points on the afternoon. It was a new season high for the left winger, besting his total previously set at Toronto on Oct. 23 (one goal and one assist).
· Reddox ended the game at +3.
· Ryan O’Marra had a season-high two assists.
· O’Marra ended the game at +4.
· Martin Gerber extended his league-leading win total to eight on Sunday evening.
· Defenseman Jake Taylor played in his first game since Oct. 15 (Houston). Taylor also received his first fighting major of the season in the second period.
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