By LeighAnn Sims, on 03/10/2011

It was a battle for momentum all night with the Barons first of two games against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Barons would use some late period and overtime heroics to capture the 6-5 win.

It looked like it was going to be the Griffins night in the first period, when Francis Pare scored twice to stake the Griffins lead 2-0.

The Barons came out fast and furious for period two. Only 10 seconds after the puck was dropped, Colin McDonald put one on the board for the Barons with help from Matt Marquardt and Anthony Aiello. About a minute later, Mark Arcobello tied things up on the power play after the Griffins Chris Minard was sent to the box for interference. The Griffins refused to give up without a fight and Jamie Tardif responded with a power play goal a little over two minutes later to reclaim the lead 3-2.

Down by a goal late in the second, Chris Vandevelde shifted the momentum back to the Barons when he converted on the rebound of a Kevin Montgomery point shot. Twenty-one seconds later, the Barons took the lead for the first time when Arcobello and Teemu Hartikainen converted on a two-on-one opportunity . The goals 21 seconds apart are the fastest two goals scored by the Barons this season.

Coming back for what most figured would be the final period, the Griffins evened the score with a goal by Tomas Tatar at 4:07. Minutes later, the momentum swung back to the Griffins when Tardif deflected a pass past Jeff Deslauriers to give Grand Rapids the 5-4 lead.

At 9:46, Hartikainen found a rebound from a Bryan Helmer point shot to tie the game at five and send the game to the extra session.

The overtime did not last long as  Aiello worked a give-and-go with Arcobello and put the puck past Griffins netminder Jordan Pearce. The goal was Aiello’s first since joining the team. 

Deslauriers stopped 33 of 38 shots tonight as his record improves to 11-11-2. The win gives Oklahoma City a much needed two points for playoff positioning in the Western Division. The two teams meet again tomorrow in the Cox Convention Center at 7:05 p.m. CT.


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