BARONS BLANK AEROS, 4-0
By Cassie Gage,
The Oklahoma City Barons got goals from four different players to blank the Houston Aeros, 4-0, Friday night in preseason action. Ryan Martindale, Justin Schultz, Mark Arcobello and Kristians Pelss all scored as the Barons put 22 shots on goal. Oklahoma City goaltenders Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz combined for the shutout by turning away 15 Houston shots on goal.
The Aeros controlled the pace early, benefitting from a Barons penalty just 12 seconds into the game. Starting netminder Roy stood strong, as he shunned away five first-period shots from Houston. Oklahoma City matched the shot total in the opening frame.
The Barons had a prime scoring opportunity develop with seven minutes to go in the period. Antti Tyrvainen’s shot from the slot was stopped by Houston goalie Matt Hackett, and the Barons were unable to gain control of the loose puck before the whistle blew.
Returning veteran Colten Teubert made his presence felt late in the period as he and Brandon Davidson broke up a potential breakaway by Charlie Coyle to keep the game scoreless. Schultz then had a scoring chance late as he poked the puck away from the Aeros defense but slid the puck just wide of the net.
Schultz then setup Teemu Hartikainen for a scoring chance early in the second period, but Hartikainen just missed his shot high.
The feistiness from the first period carried over into the second as Brett Bulmer went off for boarding at 14:15. Drew Bagnall went off for interference at 12:47 to give the Barons a 5-on-3 power play. Hartikainen just fanned on a rebound opportunity as the two-man advantage expired.
Bunz replaced Roy in net midway through the second. Roy ended the evening turning away all eight Houston shots he faced in 29:24 played. The Barons proceeded to put offensive pressure on the Aeros, jumping ahead in shots on goal.
Tyrvainen had another scoring chance thanks to a screen from Justin Maylan, but Tyrvainen was unable to redirect the pass from Arcobello. Curtis Hamilton also got a chance but was unable to get a shot off from a Pelss centering pass.
Following a scrum in front of the benches, Oklahoma City came away with a power play with 3:43 left in the period. Seconds later, the Barons had a second 5-on-3 opportunity and Martindale jumped on the loose puck three seconds later to give Oklahoma City a 1-0 lead. Hartikainen and Dan Ringwald picked up the assists.
Schultz got on the board just 26 seconds later as Martindale and Hartikainen got the assists to put the Barons up 2-0 at the second intermission. Oklahoma City pulled ahead in shots, 16-9, after the second, holding the Aeros to just four shots on goal in the period.
Tyrvainen’s persistence finally paid off as he earned an assist on Arcobello’s goal at 12:05 in the third period. Taylor Fedun marked his return to in-game action for the first time in more than a year and also earned an assist on the goal.
Pelss added Oklahoma City’s fourth goal of the evening at 8:51 as he tipped Davidson’s shot from the point to push the Barons ahead 4-0. Anton Lander earned the secondary assist on what proved to be the evening’s final goal.
The Barons and Aeros meet in a second preseason contest Saturday evening at 7 p.m. CT. Admission is free with a donation of goods or funds to Infant Crisis Services in Oklahoma City. Suggested donation items include sippy cups, baby bottles, new or gently used toys, Good Start formula, diapers, Baby Bath, baby shampoo, baby lotion, pacifiers and coats in sizes from 2T – 6. Fans are asked to bring their donations to the Cox Convention Center Box Office on the evening of the game. Donations will be accepted beginning at 5 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
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