C.J. Stretch scored the first two goals for the Oklahoma City Barons, who defeated the Abbotsford Heat 4-1 Saturday night at Cox Convention Center. The Barons victory gave them a split on the weekend series and ended the Heat’s winning streak at nine games.
The Barons got on the board first at 12:37 of the second period when Andrew Miller won a race to the puck and fed Stetch a pass from behind the Heat net. Stretch added his second at 19:40 when Austin Fyten gathered the puck in the Heat zone and dropped the puck back for Stretch in the slot where his shot beat Joey MacDonald. Stretch’s two goals extended his point streak to four games, a season high for the Barons. Austin Fyten and Andrew Miller assisted on both goals as the line of Fyten, Stretch and Miller continued their productive play over the weekend.
Paul Byron brought the Heat back within one-goal at 9:59 of the third period, but Linus Omark regained the Barons’ two-goal lead on a powerplay goal less than two minutes later.
Down 3-1, the Heat pulled MacDonald for an extra attacker, but Ben Eager gathered a neutral zone turnover on the right wing and put the Barons up 4-1 with the empty net goal at 18:27 of the third period. The Eager goal gave the Barons their largest margin of victory on the season to date.
Ilya Bryzgalov was sharp for the Barons all night as he stopped 25 of 26 shots in his second straight appearance for the Barons to earn the win. The Barons were 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Heat were held scoreless in their four power play chances. Bryzgalov made some of his biggest saves to keep the Barons penalty kill perfect on the night.
Stretch earned the first star, Fyten was second star and Bryzgalov was the third star of the victory. With the victory the Barons improved to 7-7-0-2 on the season, while Abbotsford dropped to 13-5-0-1, which is still an AHL best.
The Barons next action will be Tuesday, November 19 at 10:30 a.m. when they head to the AT&T Center to play the San Antonio Rampage.
Click here for the boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011326
The Edmonton Oilers have recalled forward Mark Arcobello from the Oklahoma City Barons, the team announced today.
In 20 games this season for the Oilers, Arcobello has 12 points (2-10-12), and ranks tied for third on the team in scoring.
Per the team, the forward is not available to play for the Oilers tonight when they take on the Calgary Flames.
Earlier today, the Oilers assigned rookie defenceman Oscar Klefbom to OKC.
Klefbom, 20, has played in 12 games for the Barons this season, recording one assist and two penalty minutes.
"We had made a decision that going against San Jose we were going to go with certain match-ups. They have a real heaviness to their team and we wanted to get some larger players in our lineup. The way the match-ups were going to go, with the three lines that we were going to run fairly heavily, Arco didn't fit into the fourth line that we were going to put together."
Arcobello is tied for third in the team with 12 points in 20 games this season.
"I let him know yesterday," Eakins continued. "It was a good news / bad news day for him. I asked him which one he wanted first. The good news is that we let him know that he could get a place to live here. He was able to do that. The bad news was that he wasn't going to play against San Jose."
With Bryzgalov in Oklahoma City but on a conditoning stint, he took up a roster spot so the team was at the maximum 23 and needed to make a move in order to call up Klefbom.
"Obviously, there was a lot of talk about the transaction today. We had a defenceman that came in out of nowhere with an injury that could have kept him out of the game. Ended up not missing the game but we had to scramble to get a roster spot to get a guy up here to possibly make it for the game. (Klefbom) couldn't quite get here in time but we were able to send down Arcobello without clearing waivers."
After notching his first goal in the second period, Street scored twice within 27 seconds in the third, first tying the game for Abbotsford and later tallying the game-winning goal.
Abbotsford struck first at 15:58 in the first, when a Chris Breen shot from the point was redirected in front of the net by the Heat's Markus Granlund and skidded under Barons goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's pads for a 1-0 Heat lead.
The Barons answered quickly when Linus Omark received a pass from Anton Lander behind the Heat net and promptly fed Andrew Miller in front, who chipped the puck past Abbotsford goalie Joni Ortio to tie the game at 11:16.
There was plenty of action in the second period, as Oklahoma City tallied three goals and Abbotsford two.
The Barons' first goal of the period came at 16:33, as Miller gathered the puck to the right of the Heat net and flicked a pass to C.J. Stretch, sprinting ahead of two Abbotsford defenders. Stretch received the pass, deked Ortio and backhanded a shot into the net for a 2-1 Barons lead.
Shortly thereafter, Denis Grebeshkov added to the Barons' lead on a bizarre play. While attempting to corral a Ryan Hamilton pass near the slot, Grebeshkov flipped the puck in the air and over heavy traffic in front of the Abbotsford net. As a shielded Ortio attempted to locate the puck, it sailed over his shoulder and just across the goal line, giving the Barons a 3-1 lead at 12:01.
Exactly one minute later, the Heat cut the Barons' lead to 3-2 after a Matt Ford roughing penalty at 8:59. Ben Hanowski scored the power play goal on a rebounded Michael Ferland shot from just in front of the Oklahoma City net.
Less than a minute later, Abbotsford struck again, tying the game on a power play goal following an interference penalty at 10:41 to Omark. Street received a pass from Blair Jones and rifled it into the top shelf of the Oklahoma City net at 10:02 to knot the score at three apiece.
Oklahoma City regained the lead at 5:49 in the second when, on a two-on-two rush, Roman Horak sent a cross-ice pass to Hamilton who rifled a wrist shot around a Heat defender and over the glove of Ortio.
Abbotsford eventually tied the game at 13:38 in the third period on Street's second game-tying goal, after center Brett Olson found Street alone in front of the Barons net. Just 27 seconds later, at 13:11, Street scored the eventual game winner, tipping the puck past Bryzgalov off a Blair Jones snapshot from just inside the blue line.
Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 24 Abbotsford shots in his first professional action since last season.
With the loss the Barons dropped to 6-7-0-2 on the season, while Abbotsford improved to an AHL best 13-4-0-1.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at Cox Convention Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. CT. One fan will drive away in a brand-new Honda Civic during the team's Drive Away Every Saturday promotion. Fans can register for a chance to be a semifinalist at the game.
Click here for the boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011313
The Oilers recalled former 19th overall draft choice Oscar Klefbom this afternoon. While he is not expected to make it to Edmonton in time for tonight's game against San Jose, he is slated to appear in his NHL debut soon.
The man who has coached the 20-year-old defenceman through his first 12 North American professional hockey games in the American Hockey League, Todd Nelson said today in a phone interview that what sticks out the most about the blueliner is his strength in the corners.
"I think the biggest thing that comes to mind is how strong he is in the corners," said Nelson. "He's a big body who plays physical in the corners. He wins his puck battles. For him, that's his game. Just play solid defensively."
A big, strong defenceman who can play a heavy game is something the Oilers desire and lack right now. General Manager Craig MacTavish told the media yesterday that he is on the lookout for just that type of player. Could Klefbom come in and fit that bill?
"I think that remains to be seen," said Nelson. "Some players go up top and fit in right away versus in minor league play. That remains to be seen. I think we're all excited to see how he handles it to go up there and play the game on the National Hockey League level. We don't know how he'll do, but everybody is really excited to find out."
Klefbom is still very young. It will take time for him to develop into a stud defenceman for the Oilers, but the raw talent and potential is there.
"There's still some things that he has to work on. One of the things he has to work on is not being so 'puck focused' away from the puck in the defensive zone and he drifts up ice a bit and lets guys get behind him. Those are some of the things, but other than that he works extremely hard to get better and better and I'm really excited for him."
Klefbom has played 12 games for the Oklahoma City Barons this season and has one assist and two penalty minutes for the Oilers' affiliate.
Arcobello has played in 20 games this season for the Oilers, scoring two goals and adding 10 assists. The 25 year-old leads all NHL rookies in assists and is tied in points. The forward has played both centre and on the wing for Edmonton this season and ranks tied for third on the team in points.
Klefbom, 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, earns his first NHL call up after playing 12 games in OKC and registering one assist. He was selected 19th overall in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Defenceman Justin Schultz remains out with a groin injury.
The Oilers have been without physical forward Luke Gazdic since he suffered a shoulder injury in a fight in Philadelphia. He says he feels good and is ready to play if the team needs him.
"I feel good, I feel strong," said Gazdic. "I've been practicing and doing all full contact stuff and I feel good. I don't feel like it's hindering me at all. It feels strong. I feel great actually."
The forward says he could provide a physical spark against a tough, physical team like the Sharks if called upon tonight.
"I don't view myself as a guy to make or break a game but I definitely think I can bring a boost of energy to the team. They've got a big, strong team. If we can have some size here, especially on our third and fourth lines to get in on the forecheck and get after their defencemen, that's going to make the difference for us. I'm not going to go in there and score a couple of goals, but I can get in on the forecheck and make some hits and get some energy for the guys."
Head Coach Dallas Eakins called Gazdic "a consideration" to play tonight.
Oilers radio colour analyst Bob Stauffer tweeted projected lines for tonight's game on the Edmonton side following the morning skate:
Oilers projected lines: Hall-RNH-Eberle, Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky,Smyth-Gordon-Perron, Joensuu-Acton-Gazdic— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) November 15, 2013