SCHULTZ, EBERLE, HALL SHINE IN 7-2 WIN
By Jim Byers,
The Oklahoma City Barons set season highs in goals and margin of victory in Sunday's 7-2 win over the Charlotte Checkers at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. The Barons swept the weekend series at Charlotte and have pulled within two points of the Checkers' South Division lead.
Oklahoma City received its second straight two-goal game from Jordan Eberle, who has 11 tallies on the season. The AHL's leading point scorer, Barons defenseman Justin Schultz, added a goal and two assists Sunday and leads Eberle 28-26 in the point race. Eberle, Schultz and Taylor Hall each had three-point games.
The Barons have won a season-high five straight, including the first three of a seven-game road stretch.
Oklahoma City's Anton Lander opened the scoring with his first goal of the year at 4:12 of the first period off a centering pass from Magnus Paajarvi. Charlotte countered with a deflection by Tim Wallace at 11:26.
The Barons regained the lead 2-1 at 13:24 on a shorthanded goal by Chris VandeVelde, his first tally of the season, on an assist by Schultz. Jordan Eberle added his 10th goal of the season at 17:02 to send the Barons into the first intermission up 3-1 after out-shooting the checkers 18-9.
The Barons established their season high with 47 shots for the game, while the Checkers had 25 on Yann Danis, who earned his fifth straight win to improve to 9-4-1.
Zach Boychuk scored a two-man advantage goal for the Checkers at 4:23 of the second period to close the gap to 3-2, but the Barons responded with three unanswered goals to take a 6-2 lead into the third. Dane Byers tipped in a Martin Marincin shot at 9:59 of the second to make it 4-2, followed 22 seconds later by a Schultz goal at 10:21 to make the score 5-2.
Eberle used a burst of speed to beat the Checkers' defense and put one past starter Dan Ellis (5-3-2) to make it 6-2. Ellis was replaced by Justin Peters for the remainder of the game after stopping 23 of 29 shots.
The Barons, now 11-5-1-1, scored once against Peters in the third when Paajarvi found Teemu Hartikainen, who slipped it past Peters' short side. The Checkers fell to 12-5-0-2 and lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
The Barons next face the Houston Aeros at Toyota Center on Thursday and Friday at 7:05 pm CST.
link to boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1010122
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