OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Barons got four goals from Jordan Eberle and a four-point night from Mark Arcobello to defeat the San Antonio Rampage, 5-3, Saturday evening at the Cox Convention Center. Eberle’s five-point night was highlighted by his first professional hat trick, the first for the Barons since April 8, 2011. Oklahoma City had 27 two-goal games between hat tricks. The Barons got a nice performance from Olivier Roy in net to move to 13-9-1-2 on the year, while the Rampage fell to 10-14-0-3.
“It was a very good win for us,” said Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson. “It was a very good game. I thought San Antonio played a lot better tonight. They came out stronger. We had key goals at certain times of the game. It was great efforts tonight from Jordan Eberle and Mark Arcobello. It was a good team effort.”
“I thought Olivier Roy made the saves he needed to, so we’re happy with that. They were pushing hard, and we’ve been in those situations before and we’ve come up short. Tonight, our guys did a good job. It’s just a nice win.”
The Barons hosted teddy bear toss night with the stuffed animals collected going to local first responders.
“We had a good crowd, obviously with teddy bear toss night,” Eberle said of the almost 6,500 in attendance. “It was a fun night. We fed off the crowd. You have to give San Antonio credit. Every time we scored, they responded, but we found a way to win and that’s all that matters.”
The Rampage got the board first as Jon Sim connected on a centering pass from Jared Gomes for a 1-0 lead at 3:26. Sim’s goal was his second of the year and of the weekend. Arcobello had a quality scoring chance after a deflected pass by San Antonio came right to his stick. San Antonio goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris just got a piece of Arcobello’s shot and the puck went wide.
The Barons continued to get scoring chances as Eberle’s attempt to flip the puck over Grumet-Morris went just high and Josh Green received a pass from Nathan Deck but was unable to get a shot off. Ryan Martindale also had a chance on a centering pass from Teemu Hartikainen but Grumet-Morris kept Oklahoma City off the board.
Crisp passing between Arcobello and Justin Schultz paid off late in the period as Schultz scored his 13th goal of the year at 18:53 on the power play to send teddy bears flying to ice. Eberle earned the secondary assist.
Eberle got his first goal of the game at 8:55 to give Oklahoma City the lead. Eberle’s speed and quick release got the puck top shelf glove side on Grumet-Morris to put the Barons up 2-1. Roy continued to come up big for the Barons as he made a sliding save on James Wright.
“It’s just one of those nights when pucks go in,” Eberle said of his performance. “The first made a good shot and found a way. Then (Mark) Arcobello made a good play to me back door. (Taylor Hall) has been all over me for a while not being able to capitalize on a hat trick. I’m glad I got it and got the monkey off my back.”
Taylor Hall had a breakaway chance on Grumet-Morris from the top of the crease but the netminder made the save.
A driving Eberle netted his second of the period at 15:17 as he converted a pass from Arcobello and sent it five-hold on Grumet-Morris. Deck earned the secondary assist for his third assist with the team this year. The Rampage cut the lead to one at 3-2 at the 19:19 mark of the period as Sim scored on the power play.
Eberle sent the hats flying to the ice just 52 seconds into the third period while the Barons were still on the power play as he redirected the puck over Grumet-Morris’ glove side. Eberle had four two-goal games this season, the most recent coming on Nov. 25 at Charlotte.
Sim completed his own hat trick at 12:29 by putting in a rebound to get the lead back to a one-goal Oklahoma City advantage at 4-3. Eberle added an empty netter at 19:55 to secure the 5-3 win. Eberle’s five-point night, tying a franchise-best for points in a single game, moved him into the AHL lead for goals.
“I thought we let up in the last seven minutes, and San Antonio found a way to score," Eberle said. “We were on our heels a little bit, and we have to be more prepared for that. You have to expect that they’re going to push. At the end of the day we got the two points, and that’s what matters.”
Eberle and Sim became the first opponents with hat tricks in the same game since March 21, 2009, when Alex Picard (Syracuse) and Pat Dwyer (Albany) accomplished the feat.
The Barons play a third game in as many days on Sunday afternoon with a 5 p.m. CT contest at the Houston Aeros.
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