OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Barons had five different players score and tallied three first period goals in a 5-1 win over the San Antonio Rampage Friday night. The Barons (12-9-1-2) got back in the win column, downing division rival San Antonio (10-13-0-3) for a second time this year.
“I thought our guys had more jump tonight,” said Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson. “I thought our team executed the game plan pretty well. I thought we were just better all the way around. Sometimes you just have to change the lines. We’ve talked about this before. It just gives us a fresh look, and it paid off tonight. I thought we managed the game pretty well tonight.”
Oklahoma City starting goaltender Yann Danis was sharp early on, making a kick save on Alex Petrovic to keep the game scoreless. Despite the Rampage traffic in front of Danis, and San Antonio taking an early lead in shots early, Danis stood tall during the period turning away all eight shots he faced.
The Barons opened the scoring at 10:19 as Jordan Eberle stripped the pick off Michael Caruso’s stick at the blue line and broke in all alone on Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstrom. Eberle fired the puck past Markstrom to give Oklahoma City a 1-0 lead.
“We were squeezing our sticks a bit tight at the start,” Nelson said. “We had quite a few turnovers and weren’t generating any shots. When Jordan scored that goal, our whole bench lifted up. I think that was a huge goal for us. They turned the puck over and Jordan had a good instinct and scored a nice goal.”
Colten Teubert broke through with his second goal of the year at 17:34. Teubert poked the puck in from the top of the crease to give Oklahoma City a 3-0 lead. Chris VandeVelde earned the goal’s only assist.
“Obviously I was in the rush,” Teubert said. “I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I just figured just throw the puck on net because I knew a couple of guys were out there. (Chris VandeVelde) made a nice tip, and I just went to the kitchen and put it home.”
A chippy second period saw the teams take six penalties combined. While playing four-on-four, the Rampage broke through as Jon Sim got a breakaway chance and fired the puck past Danis to cut the lead to 3-1.
Justin Schultz added to his league-leading point total with his 12th goal of the year at 13:38. Schultz pounded home a rebound to make it 4-1. Eberle got his second point of the night with the primary assist on the goal. Mark Arcobello had the secondary assist.
Oklahoma City had some quality scoring chances late in the period as Hall, Eberle and Arcobello all factored into odd-man advantages for the Barons. The Barons out-shot the Rampage 11-9 in the period and carried the 4-1 lead into the second intermission.
The chipiness from the second period carried over to the third with 13 penalties handed out over the 20 minute frame. The Rampage replaced Markstrom with Dov Grumet-Morris in goal at the start of the period.
Barons captain Josh Green had a bloody fight with James Wright late in the period. The bout was one of two in the period. In all, San Antonio was penalized for 49 minutes, while the Barons had 37 PIM.
Magnus Paajarvi made it 5-1 Oklahoma City at 17:18 as he skated in and fired a shot past Grumet-Morris. Nathan Deck and Teubert had the assists on what was the game’s final goal. The Barons led in shots 35-26 at the end of the game.
“In a game like that, you’re down 5-1. (San Antonio’s) identity is a big, strong team,” Eberle said. “You have to expect that they’re going to push back a little and try to send a message. At the end of the day, we’ve got to be smart, realize we have skill and we have to play tomorrow. We expect they’re going to come out hard tomorrow, and we have to be able to match their intensity and push forward.”
The two teams face off again Saturday evening at 6 p.m. MT at the Cox Convention Center.
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