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LATE SURGE LEADS BARONS PAST PEORIA
By Cassie Gage,
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Barons scored two late third period goals and added an empty netter to down the Peoria Rivermen 3-1 Friday evening at the Cox Convention Center. The Barons (18-6-0-1) got 20 saves from David LeNeveu and saw fans throw more than 1,000 stuffed animals on the ice during the team’s annual teddy bear toss. Those animals, along with an additional 2,500 stuffed animals collected by Midwest City High School, will be donated to EMSA for use during emergency response situations throughout the year.
Brett Sterling gave Peoria (11-13-1-1) the lead late in the first period on the power play, putting the Rivermen up 1-0 at the 17:17 mark of the frame. Peoria led in shots 12-8 during the period.
Oklahoma City pulled ahead in the shots department in the second period. Despite strong chances and neither team scoring, the Barons had 15 shots on goal in the second. Oklahoma City held Peoria to just three shots on goal and neither team played a man down during the 20 minute session. With the push in the period, the Barons pulled ahead in shots, 23-15.
Oklahoma City’s persistence paid off in the third period. Ryan Keller sent stuffed animals raining down on the Cox Convention Center ice as he tied the game 1-1 at 11:51 in the period. Just 1:03 later, Tanner House put the home team in front 2-1. Mark Acrobello and Taylor Chorney picked up assists on Keller’s goal, while Alex Plante and Ryan O’Marra were credited with the assists on House’s goal.
Chris VandeVelde sealed the win with an empty-net power-play goal at 19:31. It was his third of the year.
Plante’s assist gave him points in back-to-back games for the second time this season. House’s goal was just his third of the season, and Keller scored his eighth.
LeNeveu moved to 6-2-1 on the year and maintained his stellar home record (2-0-0). LeNeveu’s has 102 saves on home ice this year with just four goals allowed in 245 minutes played.
The win is the Barons 18th on the season, the most in the American Hockey League.
Oklahoma City faces Texas in the first game of a home-and-home against the Stars tomorrow night. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. CT in Cedar Park. The Stars make the return trip to Oklahoma City Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. CT.
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