BARONS DOWN HAMILTON, 4-1
By Cassie Gage,
The Oklahoma City Barons defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs, 4-1, Tuesday evening at the Cox Convention Center. Oklahoma City (33-23-2-8) extended its winning streak to three games and the win marked the Barons’ first on home ice since Feb. 26 against the Texas Stars. Oklahoma City now has a standing point in 12 of its last 15 games (9-3-0-3).
The Barons held an 8-2 lead in shots after the opening frame and had seven of those on the board prior to the game’s first media timeout 7:25 into the period. Oklahoma City fended off a high-sticking double minor to Mark Arcobello midway through the period and later kept the Bulldogs off the board on a Toni Rajala interference call that carried over to the start of the second period.
After the media timeout, the Barons managed just one shot on goal. Oklahoma City’s defense continued to hold strong, holding Hamilton to just two shots in the period. Brandon Davidson registered two shots on goal in the first to lead all players.
The Barons were shorthanded just 1:29 into the second as Davidson took a minor for slashing. While on the penalty kill, Antti Tyrvainen had two attempts on a breakaway chance but Mayer turned both chances aside.
A roughing penalty to Hamilton’s Joey Tenute at 9:15 gave Oklahoma City its first power play of the night. Teemu Hartikainen, in his first home game since his return from Edmonton, had a great scoring chance, but couldn’t elevate the puck over Mayer. Tyrvainen sent a redirection just high as the Barons were unable to get on the board. Rajala continued his pressure, but Mayer secured the puck preventing any rebound attempts.
The Barons finally broke through at 15:35 as Hartikainen passed himself the puck from his skate and his shot hit off Mayer, but Chris VandeVelde was there to put home his third goal of the season as Oklahoma City led 1-0. Rajala earned the secondary assist on the goal after the initial pass to Hartikainen and now has points in 12 of the last 13 (4-13-17).
The lead didn’t last long as Kyle Hagel scored his first goal of the year to even the score at 1-1 at the 17:56 mark of the period. Oklahoma City extended its shots lead to 20-9 after the second period.
Jonathan Cheechoo had two good chances to score in the third period as the Barons continued to get traffic in front of Mayer. Oklahoma City stretched the shots lead back out to double digits and then at the 9:42 mark, Cheechoo broke through, getting the puck past Mayer to give the Barons a 2-1 lead.
Arcobello and Philippe Cornet earned the assists on Cheechoo’s 10th goal of the year. Oklahoma City got another scoring chance later in the period as crisp passing from Rajala to Taylor Fedun opened up a shot for a streaking Hartikainen, who sent a shot just wide of the net.
Brandon Davidson added an empty-net goal with one minute remaining in the game and Tanner House added another at 19:27 to seal a 4-1 win for Oklahoma City. The Barons ended the game leading in shots, 28-20.
At the end of the night, Oklahoma City moved to 7-0-0-0 with Cheechoo scoring a goal and 10-1-0-0 when he has at least a point. It also marked the seventh straight game without an opponent power play goal.
Tuesday’s game was the first of four for the Barons this week. Oklahoma City returns to the road Friday for a 7:30 p.m. CT faceoff against the Texas Stars in Cedar Park. The Barons are home this weekend for a two-game set against the Chicago Wolves. Saturday’s game is set for a 7 p.m. with Sunday’s game beginning at 4 p.m.
click here for boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1010878
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