OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Game 4 of the series had a wild third period, when the Barons scored five unanswered goals to dig out of a deficit and win by the score of 7 to 3. The five goals set an AHL play-off record for the number of goals scored by a team in the third period.
“I think at the end of the night that a 7-3 score isn’t very indicative of the way the entire game went,” said Taylor Fedun. “There was a lot of up and down, both goalies made some huge saves in that game.”
After a scoreless first period, the Barons got on the board at 1:27 in the second period, with a goal from rookie centerman C.J. Stretch. His shot was a deflection from rookie defenseman Brandon Davidson’s shot from the blue line. Five minutes later, the Stars ruined Yann Danis’ chance of earning a shut out. Brett Ritchie scored a tap in from Reilly Smith & Justin Dowling.
With nine minutes remaining in the middle period, the Barons had a power-play. However a minor penalty to Captain Josh Green negated the man advantage. Seven seconds later, the Barons Mark Arcobello was whistled for roughing, giving Texas a 4 on 3 skater advantage.
Forty-seven seconds it all it took for Texas to score a power-play goal, and take their first lead of the game. Colton Sceviour, scored on a deflection from Jordie Benn. Due to the Stars capitalizing, Green was released from the penalty box.
At 14:33 Barons defenseman Andrew Hotham was trying to ice the puck, when the penalty time to Arcobello expired. “I got a little lucky coming out of the penalty box,” said Arcobello. “Their D-men weren’t paying attention. Hotham was trying to ice it, it his Philly’s [Philippe Cornet] stick and played to me really well.” This score tied the game at two goals apiece.
During a delayed penalty to the Barons, the Stars goaltender was pulled for an extra skater. This game plan worked, as the Stars caught the Barons on a line change, and the Stars regained the lead late in the second period on a score from J. Morrow.
“We put ourselves in that position by taking unnecessary penalties. At the end of two periods the shots on goal were 24 for Texas and 28 for Oklahoma City. The third period would be an all-out offensive effort on the part of the Barons.
A few seconds after a Barons power-play ended, “Super Pest” Antti Tyrvainen scored his first goal of the post-season, on a pass from Ben Eager. “It was a perfect shot from Ben and I drove to the net,” Said Tyrvainen. “Antti made a great play to bang-in the rebound; it was a huge goal,” said Nelson.
At 14:24 the deluge of goals began. Defenseman Taylor Fedun found the puck thru traffic. “Pitter [Tyler Pitlick] got the shot on net and forced the goalie to make the save,” said Fedun. I was able to get it back on net before he was able to get his bearings.” This score would hold up as the game wining goal.
It wouldn’t be a Barons game without a penalty late in the third period. Arcobello assessed a minor penalty, yet Oklahoma City was able to kill off the penalty. As before, Arcobello scored a goal after departing the penalty box. “Cheech [Jonathan Cheechoo] set me up; he passed it to me on a 2 on 1.” His second score of the night was the insurance goal for the Barons. However, more goal scoring was to come.
Texas pulled their goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp for an extra skater, yet the Barons had possession of the puck. Tyrvainen’s shot from the neutral zone found its way to the net. Assisting on this empty netter were Stretch and goaltender Danis.
At 18:50 the Stars defenseman Benn was whistled for slashing. A minute later, the Barons scored their second power-play goal of the evening, from Garrett Stafford. Assisting on this score Tyler Pitlick and Davidson. “I was happy with our perseverance,” said Nelson. “The guys player harder in the third period; they did not want to let this slip.”
The shots on goal for the third period were a decisive 5 for Texas and 18 for Oklahoma City. With his eighth post-season score of the night, Arcobello leads the league in goals. He also is riding a four-game goal streak. Danis held Texas to a consecutive shout out minute streak at 109 minutes, 37 seconds, which is a new Barons post-season record.
In this best-of-seven games series, Oklahoma City just needs one more win to end the series. “To go ahead 3 [games] to one and still have a game left here at home is a huge opportunity for us,” said Fedun. “We will get back to business tomorrow and try to close this out.”
Win number three in this series occurred on Coach Nelson’s 44th birthday “the fourth win in a seven game series is always the toughest,” said Nelson. “I expect the game tomorrow to go either way. It is a matter of going out there, and sticking with our game plan.”
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