By Blake Colston, on 05/11/2012

Chris VandeVelde’s second consecutive overtime game winner pushed the Oklahoma City Barons to a 2-1 victory and a 3-1 series lead over the San Antonio Rampage Thursday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

An evenly-played first period saw San Antonio and Oklahoma City each kill off two penalties. Both goaltenders denied good scoring chances that were few and far between during the first twenty minutes.

The Barons outshot the Rampage 9-8 in the opening period.

The physicality was turned up another notch in the second twenty minutes with the game resembling the low scoring affairs the two teams played in the regular season.

The Barons found some offensive momentum late in the period thanks to a San Antonio penalty but Rampage netminder Jacob Markstrom was up to the challenge.

San Antonio outshot Oklahoma City 11-8 in the second period.

A quick San Antonio flurry to begin the third period was answered by a sustained offensive assault by Oklahoma City.Tyler Pitlick drew a tripping call from Scott Timmins at 8:05 of the third providing Oklahoma City with a power-play chance.

The Rampage killed the power play and it seemed as though the Barons charge had been halted. Hunter Tremblay had other ideas.

Tremblay took a two-on-one chance down the right wing into the Rampage end. From there, he waited patiently and fired a shot on San Antonio netminder Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom denied the first shot and two separate rebound tries from Lander and Tremblay, but Tremblay’s third try snuck past Markstrom and put the Barons on top 1-0 at 10:56 of the third.

With all the momentum seemingly swung in the Barons favor San Antonio answered back.

A Michael Caruso shot from the point deflected in front of the net where Bill Thomas reeled in the rebound and fired a backhand past Yann Danis to even the game at 1.

The Rampage momentum carried through the final minutes of regulation but Oklahoma City held strong to force a third straight overtime period between the teams.

Only a 1:05 into overtime Chris VandeVelde scored his second consecutive sudden death game winner with a backhanded shot from near the goal line that beat San Antonio netminder Jacob Markstrom and gave the Barons a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Oklahoma City goaltender Yann Danis stopped 30 of 31 shots faced. His counterpart from San Antonio Jacob Markstrom stopped 28 of 30.

Game five is tomorrow at 7 P.M. at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

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