Barons clipped 4-3 by Aeros
Justin Schultz picks up a pair of points as Barons streak comes to an end
The Oklahoma City Barons saw their streak of eight straight games with at least a point come to an end as the Houston Aeros came away with a 4-3 regulation victory at the Toyota Center on Friday night.
Olivier Roy got the start in goal for OKC for the first time since November 13. Taylor Fedun was also added to the lineup after missing last night's game with an illness.
Tempers erupted just past the five-minute mark of the period as David McIntyre got into a shoving match with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Skaters from both sides rushed to between the bench area where the altercation took place.
The end result was a cross-checking penalty to Taylor Hall in addition to coincidental minors to McIntyre and RNH putting Houston on the power play.
The penalty was killed off but moments after it expired Justin Fontaine took a cross-ice pass and fired it glove side into the open cage past Roy to give the Aeros a 1-0 lead.
Teemu Hartikainen laid out Jarod Palmer with a beautiful open-ice hip check but Drew Bagnall took exception and dropped his gloves, going after the Finnish forward. Colten Teubert also got into a fight during the same stoppage, with Palmer. Because Teubert's fight was a secondary altercation both he and Palmer got game misconducts.
The result of all of it was a Barons power play with Bagnall getting the extra two for instigating.
With 11 seconds left in the power play, Jordan Eberle rifled a shot from the left circle that beat Matt Hackett for the goal, tying the game at 1-1.
OKC went back on the power play not too long after but it was Jason Zucker who scored a shorthanded marker for the Aeros. His shot from the high slot beat Roy to make it 2-1 for the home side.
But once again the Barons bounced right back. Mark Arcobello rifled a shot on a delayed penalty past Hackett to make it a 2-2 game. Because it was a delayed penalty while on a power play, OKC went back on a full two-minute man advantage.
Shots on goal after one were 11-10 for OKC.
An early penalty to Jordan Henry put OKC down a man, giving Houston an opportunity to tie the game but the Barons penalty killers stepped up to kill it off.
Just before the period's midway point, it was the Barons who went up a man. Jason Zucker was sent off for roughing. OKC had plenty of chances to take the lead but Hackett came up with some nice saves, most notably on a Hartikainen one-timer attempt from the top of the crease.
With Jordan Eberle in the box and less than seven minutes to go in the period, Houston struck to take the lead for the third time. After Roy had made the first two stops, Johan Larsson was at the doorstep to roof the second rebound over the Barons netminder's outstretched pads to make it 3-2 for the host squad.
After two periods, shots on goal were 20 to 14 for the Aeros.
The Barons were unable to score on two consecutive power plays to open the period but they did continue to put pressure on Houston, outshooting them 7-0 over the first six minutes of the third.
With momentum on their side, Oklahoma City received another power play with 13:05 to play in the final frame. Ryan Ginard took a minor for closing his hand on the puck.
Houston struck for a power play goal with seven minutes to play in the third. A bouncing puck got away from Jordan Henry and landed on the stick of Zucker who fired it home from the top of the crease to make it 4-2.
22 seconds later the Barons made a game of it once more as Taylor Hall scored to narrow the gap to one at 4-3. Schultz had the lone assist.
The final shot tally was 27 for each side as OKC made a late push to try and get the equalizer.