Monsters down Barons 5-3
Three third-period goals by Lake Erie results in come-from-behind victory
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Lake Erie Monsters scored three power play goals in the third period en route to defeating the Oklahoma City Barons 5-3 Saturday evening at the Cox Convention Center. The Barons (2-2-0-0) scored first and led 3-2 at the end of the second period, but four third-period penalties gave Lake Erie (3-1-0-0) just enough opportunities to get the win.
“It was a hard-fought game,” said Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson. “I thought the tempo of the game was outstanding. It was an NHL pace. It was a good hockey game. Both teams played physical but not dirty. It was a hard-hitting game, and a fast-moving game. We came up short.”
Justin Schultz had a great scoring opportunity, dazzling his way through defenders but a poke check from Sami Aittokallio kept the rookie defenseman off the board.
Oklahoma City’s fundamental passing paid off at 7:27 as crisp exchanges from Ryan Martindale to Tyler Pitlick to Curtis Hamilton resulted in Hamilton’s first goal of the year. Hamilton’s shot from the near circle rocketed past Lake Erie goaltender Sam Aittokallio as he wasn’t able to get back in position to make the save.
Lake Erie’s Bryan Lerg had a chance to tie the game but Olivier Roy made a kicksave to thwart the scoring opportunity.
The Barons controlled puck possession early in the period, but the Monsters rebounded to take the edge in the latter part of the period. The Monsters evened the score at 17:22 as Tyson Barrie got his third goal of the season past Roy.
The Monsters took the lead at the 1:56 mark of the second as Andrew Agozzino went up over Roy to put Lake Erie up 2-1. Schultz got free and capitalized on a feed from Teemu Hartikainen and Pitlick at 4:17 to bring the score back even.
Roy made a breakaway save on Mark Olver to keep the momentum going and the Barons pushed ahead to take a sizeable lead in shots on goal. The Barons took the lead back at 10:03 as Magnus Paajarvi sent a missile from the blueline, scoring long-range to give Oklahoma City a 3-2 lead. The Barons led in shots on goal 22-15 at the second intermission.
“The goal was good,” Paajarvi said. “I got a good shot there. I got a good screen from (Chris) VandeVelde and a good pass.”
Lake Erie scored three power play goals in the third period, the first coming at 7:00 on a 5-on-3 as Thomas Pock’s shot from the right point deflected off Colten Teubert and slid past Roy. The goal evened the score at 3-3 and kickstarted the Monsters comeback.
A high shot from Hartikainen in the Barons’ offensive end resulted in a highlight reel save from Roy on the other side of the ice moments later. The Monsters continued the pressure and broke through on the power play for a second time at 11:53. Karl Stollery scored his first of the season as he banked a shot off Dane Byers’ stick to push Lake Erie in front 4-3.
The Barons had a last-chance to even the score late as Eberle nearly tied the game with a backhanded attempt that was saved Aittokallio.
Olver added an empty-net power play goal at 19:48 to seal the 5-3 win for Lake Erie.
The Barons returns to action Tuesday evening at the Cox Convention Center at 7 p.m. CT against Lake Erie.