BARONS EXPLODE FOR SIX GOALS IN 3RD PERIOD TO DOWN GRAND RAPIDS 7-5
By Josh Evans, OKC Barons
Six different players scored and the Barons tied a franchise record with six third period goals en route to a wild 7-5 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday evening at the Cox Convention Center.
The game featured wild swings with each team wrestling the momentum from one another.
Oklahoma City controlled play in the first period, but left trailing 2-1. Ryan Martindale staked the Barons to a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal of the season at 11:37. With the Barons on the power play, Taylor Fedun fired a shot from the top of the right-wing circle that Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum was unable to corral. Philippe Cornet guided the puck to Martindale who shoveled it home.
The Barons continued to control play and were on their fourth power play of the evening when Grand Rapids would strike. Defenseman Brett Skinner cleared the puck toward Barons netminder Yann Danis from inside the Griffins defensive zone. The puck squirted through Danis and trickled over the goal line.
Grand Rapids would take a 2-1 lead to the dressing room after Francis Pare scored his 14th goal of the season at 16:43. Pare converted the rebound of a Riley Sheahan shot from in deep, nearly on top of Danis.
The Griffins would control much of the second period and would take advantage of Barons turnover to extend their lead to 3-1. Gustav Nyquist potted his first of two on the night at the 10:18 of the second when he poked a rebound through the legs of Danis. The Griffins would take that lead to the dressing room.
Oklahoma City wasted no time drawing to within one. Just 1:29 into the final period, Josh Green scored his eight of the season with a long-range snapshot from the right-wing faceoff circle. A faceoff win by Mark Arcobello to Brett Clark resulted in a cross-ice pass to Green who snapped it over the shoulder of McCollum. The momentum seemed to have swung toward Oklahoma City.
Grand Rapids would re-take their two-goal lead and take the momentum again with a power-play goal of their own at 5:17 of the third. Nyquist scored his second of the night from deep in the right-wing circle off a rebound of a Riley Sheahan shot from the high slot.
Jonathan Cheechoo scored his first of two on the night at 5:57 of the third to draw the Barons again to within one. After faking a slapshot from the top of the right-wing circle, he moved closer to the goal and was able to slide the puck through the legs of the Griffins goaltender. Arcobello and Clark would add assists on the play.
Momentum was clearly on the side of the Barons and the next four-plus minutes would show that. Toni Rajala scored his sixth of the season at 9:49 to tie the game at four on a move to send the puck past McCollum. Just 24 seconds later Philippe Cornet scored his second goal in as many nights when he converted on a two-on-one break. In a wild sequence 24 seconds later, Dane Byers scored his fourth of the night on a deflection of a Taylor Fedun point shot.
The three goals just 48 seconds apart is the second fastest three goals scored by the Barons in franchise history. The fastest was three goals scored 44 seconds apart, set October 15, 2011 in a 10-1 win over the Texas Stars.
With all the momentum on the Barons side, the Griffins responded with a strike just under three minutes later to take some of the momentum back. Brent Raedeke split the Barons defense and was able to slide the puck under Danis for this third tally of the season. That goal made the score 6-5 and set the stage for a dramatic ending to the game.
Grand Rapids pulled their goaltender in favor of an extra attacker with just over a minute to play. While attempting to set up in the offensive zone, Cheechoo chipped the puck away from a Griffins defender and battled to win possession of the puck Despite falling to the ice, Cheechoo was able to move the puck into the empty net to secure the 7-5 win.
The six third period goals ties a franchise mark from the Barons 10-1 win over the Texas Stars on October 15, 2011.
Yann Danis stopped 22 of the 27 shots he faced for his 14th win of the season. Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum stopped 22 of 28 shots in the loss.
The Barons return to action next weekend with a pair of games against the Texas Stars at the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas. Faceoff Friday is 7:30 p.m., while faceoff Saturday is 7 p.m. Both games can be heard on the Barons flagship station, 96.1 KXY.
click here for boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1010560
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