It’s no secret. There’s some great talent on the Oklahoma City Barons. Jordan Eberle. Taylor Hall. Justin Schultz.
All three of them had key roles in the Baron’s 3-2 shootout win over the Admirals on Saturday night.
Hall and Eberle scored power play goals in the third period, with Schultz assisting on both of them. Schultz then put the exclamation point on the night with the game winning try in the shootout in the 6th round.
The Admirals blew a 2-0 third period lead, but managed to get a point in the standings. While Coach Evason is disappointed to not have the second point, he is happy with how the team played overall.
And Coach is happy that they didn’t giftwrap any of the goals, unlike the game on Thursday.
The Admirals hopped out to a lead 8:24 into the game with a Victor Bartley goal. And even though Michael Latta didn’t get an assist on the score sheet, it was something that he didn’t do that set up the goal.
After two big and legal hits on Baron players, Alex Plante wanted to dance. Latta said, (paraphrasing) you know, it’s not you, it’s me. I think we should spend some time apart. Plante ended up with a roughing penalty, and the Admirals ended up with the power play, thanks to Latta’s discipline. Coach thought it was a smart play by Latta.
The goal had some similarities to Bartley’s goal on Thursday night. There’s Bartley, crashing the net on the left wing side, and he was able to score off of the centering feed from Chris Mueller. Nice looking play.
Kevin Henderson scored shorthanded in the second period to make it a 2-0 lead. After a dump in behind Baron goaltender Olivier Roy (think he’s French Canadian?), Henderson was able to steal the puck from him. While Roy was able to win the race back to the other side of the net, Henderson came around the other side and his shot gave him his 8th goal of the season, and 6th point in his last 5 games. (They didn’t cue the video up well, but the replay is pretty good)
Then there was the third period, where the Admirals were outshot 15-1.
Those numbers were aided by two power plays for OKC…the first a double minor for high sticking assessed to Latta. I say “assessed” because it sure looked like Mark Van Guilder was the culprit on the replay. The Ads killed off the first 3:45, but Hall had a one-timer off of a circle-to-circle pass from Mark Arcobello to get the Barons on the board.
Taylor Beck was flagged for a tripping penalty with 2:26 remaining, and 15 seconds later the game was tied. Jordan Eberle received the final pass ‘around the world’ on the near side this time, and his shot beat Jeremy Smith.
Say what you want about the tripping call on Beck. He certainly didn’t need to be waiving his stick around like that at that point of the game. And the ref certainly let some more flagrant stuff go….but that penalty isn’t the reason why they lost. 1 shot on goal in any period isn’t going to cut it. Coach Evason credits the Baron’s for making it hard on his team late in the game.
The Admirals did outshoot the Barons 4-1 in overtime, and Latta did have a nice up-ending of Roy in the near corner that went without a penalty call. But as I review the box score…looks like Latta was assessed a 10 minute misconduct at the end of OT. May explain why we didn’t see him in the shootout.
Austin Watson scored for Milwaukee in the shootout in the second round. That was it. There were multiple attempts to beat Roy on the stick side, but he shut the door. Magnus Paajarvi and Schultz scored for the Barons in the 1st and 6th rounds.
– The shootout loss DID vault the Admirals into second place in the division. So that’s something, I suppose.
– Juuso Puustinen was promoted to the Mueller and Beck line, with Patrick Cehlin switching spots with Juuso. Puustinen didn’t have a shot on goal. His linemantes had 6 total (more than a third of ALL Milwaukee shots). Cehlin had a pair of shots on his line.
– Smitty seemed to be seeing the puck very well. Here’s the Coach.
– What is there to say? There’s a lot of talent on that team — even with The Nuge not in uniform. But it’s tough to win with 13 shots in regulation, and just one shot in the third period. That’s really what sticks out to me. It’s great to play well 5×5, and the 15-29-17 line really stepped up their game against their top line. But it’s disappointing to see a multi-goal lead evaporate, and it’s disappointing to only get the one point.
– The 1st place Griffins come to town tomorrow afternoon, riding a three game winning streak. They’re finishing off a 3-in-3, after a win Friday against the Barons, and shootout win tonight against the Wolves.
– Do you feel that Eberle, Hall, and Schultz are that much head-and-shoulders talent-wise above everybody else?
– If the lockout ends soon….do you think Kevin Henderson is playing himself into the conversation for a callup if the Preds need a left winger?
– Announced attendance was 3,685. Not a good number for a Saturday night, but do you think it’s a good number for going against a Packer game? I was actually impressed by the size of the crowd, considering the circumstances.