CHARLOTTE, NC – The game was only 34 seconds old when Oklahoma took the lead through Phillippe Comet with an assist by Mark Arcobello. The game went downhill from there for the Checkers. It took the Barons another 10 minutes to score a second. This time it was Tyler Pitlick with assists from Green and Martin Maricin that made the score 2-0 to the visitors. Oklahoma, who had been facing elimination of the lost this game were on fire.
The assault continued with Chris Vandevelde adding a third in the 15 minute. The assists came from Barons Antli Tyrvainen and Ben Eager. Eager was later to get more involved in the game in the second period receiving penalties for interference, roughness, fighting and abuse.
In the second period the situation became even worse for Charlotte with Barons captain, Josh Green adding number four at the 5.27 marker on a power play. Then Anton Lander scored the fifth goal three minutes later with assists from Marincin and Teemu Hartikainen. The problems then went even further with Marincin scoring on a power play to make the score 6-0 Barons.
The second period Oklahoma outshot Charlotte 17 to 3 after a first period when the shooting was much more even with Oklahoma out shooting Charlotte 14-11.
“It was a tough night for everyone,” said Daniels. “(Madore) was one player on a team that didn’t get the job done.”
“After the first period the score looked ugly, but it could have easily been even,” said Checkers captain Brett Sutter.
The third period began with Zach Boychuk getting the Checkers on the board after 3.52 but this brief response was soon quelled by Oklahoma. On a power play Pitlick scored his second of the night and the Barons seventh in the ninth minute. Number eight for the Barons came 40 seconds later when Hartikainen scored.
Charlotte goalie Rob Madore made 13 saves from 17 shots was pulled and replaced by Mike Murphy who stopped 16 shots out of 20. It was tough evening for Checker goalies.
Saturday night is crunch time for both teams, win or go home. The puck will be dropped at 7.00PM.