OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Andrej Nestrasil scored twice on the power play with assists from Mitch Callahan on both goals to carry the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-3 win over the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday at the Cox Convention Center.
The game was the second in as many days between the two teams; the Griffins defeated the Barons 3-2 on Friday night. Grand Rapids (39-18-2-4, 84 pts.) remained on top of the Western Conference, two points in front of second-place Texas Stars.
After Oklahoma City (29-26-1-7) failed to convert on five power plays Friday, all their goals were scored during power plays Saturday. The Barons went three-for-10 on the man-advantage, while the Griffins went two-for-six.
Scoring started at 7:54 when Nestrasil netted his second power play goal in two games. Seconds off the draw, Callahan chased the puck behind Richard Bachman’s net and gained possession before finding Nestrasil on the right side of the net, who tapped the puck in.
Alden Hirschfeld doubled the Griffins’ lead with his first goal of the season at 12:56. Grand Rapids broke out on a three-on-two and Hirschfeld took a shot from point-blank range and chased his own rebound, poking the puck free and knocking it into the net.
The Barons’ first power play tally was scored by Roman Horak, who was alone in the high slot and sent a rocket past Tom McCollum into the upper left corner of the net at 19:00.
Oklahoma City’s power play unit struck again during a full two-minute five-on-three after Travis Novak was called for tripping and Trevor Parkes subsequently was whistled for boarding. Brad Hunt’s one-timer slapshot from the left point tied the game at 7:32.
With 1:34 remaining in the second period, the Griffins regained the lead when Jeff Hoggan tipped inDavid McIntyre’s shot from the left faceoff circle.
Nestrasil and Callahan found more power play success at 8:47 of the third frame. A tic-tac-toe play from Landon Ferraro to Callahan to Nestrasil resulted in a wrist shot getting past Bachman.
The Barons once again tightened the gap when Tyler Pitlick’s shot from the middle of the Griffins’ zone was redirected down and into the net by Matthew Ford at 12:18, a power play goal as Ferraro sat in the box for slashing.
In his second straight win, McCollum stopped 27 of 30 shots. Bachman turned away 24 of 28 shots in the loss.