After splitting a weekend set with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Oklahoma City Barons would see some movement as they prepared to welcome the Charlotte Checkers to the Cox Center for the first time. Milan Kytnar would pack his bags and head to Stockton of the ECHL, while Jeff Petry would head the other way, as he was called up by the Oilers.
The Barons started the week off slowly on Friday night, with the exception of Yann Danis, as the Checkers outshot the Barons every step of the way. Justin Soryal and Triston Grant fought midway through the first, with Grant getting the strong decision, but it was the Checkers who followed with a goal as Jerome Samson scored at 13:57 of the 1st to put the Checkers up 1-0 after one.
The Barons would answer back early in the 2nd, with Mark Arcobello scoring his first goal of the season at 4:08. The teams then traded a couple of power play chances through the end of the 2nd and most of the 3rd until a scrum with 2:19 left to play in the game. Alex Plante then earned himself a 10 minute misconduct, and Colten Teubert took a two-minute roughing penalty. The extra minor would prove costly, as Matthew Pistilli of the Checkers scored his first of the season, giving the Checkers the 2-1 win. But it could have been much worse if not for Yann Danis who stopped 34 shots, while the Barons only managed to put 23 on the board.
Saturday night, the Barons headed to Houston for a contest with a lot more scoring than the previous night. Kirill Tulupov made his return to the line-up, filling in for Johan Motin, and he would make the most of it. 1:08 into the game, Josh Green scored his second of the year, with Tulupov and Bryan Helmer assisting. After a Colten Teubert holding penalty, Hunter Tremblay gave the Barons their first shorthanded goal of the season, scoring at 12:03. Philippe Cornet then continued his scoring pace, and Tulupov earned his second assist of the night, putting the Barons up 3-0 at 18:20. The Barons ended up chasing the Aeros starting goaltender, Matt Hackett, as Dennis Endras would be in net to start the 2nd.
As the Barons tapped the brakes in the 2nd, the Aeros began to put the puck past Yann Danis. After the Aeros scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the period, the Barons extended their lead when Teemu Hartikainen scored his fourth of the year at 11:54 on the power play. The Aeros would answer back again, with Jared Palmer scoring at 16:35 to bring the Aeros within one. During a Josh Green tripping penalty to start the 3rd, the Aeros tied the game back up at 2:09 with Casey Wellman scoring his seventh of the year. Neither team would answer back or commit a penalty for the rest of the game, and the teams would head to a shootout. With Gilbert Brule and Hartikainen missing and Mark Arcobello and Philippe Cornet scoring, Yann Danis would stand tall and stop all four of the Aeros players. The Barons continued their Texas winning streak and took the shootout win 5-4.
Heading back north, the Barons met the Rampage in San Antonio on Sunday afternoon minus Alex Plante, who was called up to the Oilers before the game. The Rampage would have his brother, Tyler Plante, in net, while the Barons started David LeNeveu. With Plante gone, both Tulupov and Motin were in the lineup. 7:54 into the game, Philippe Cornet would match his goal total from last season when he scored his seventh goal of the season with Brule and Tulupov getting the assists. On a Chris VandeVelde hooking penalty, the Rampage tied it up at 1-1 until Ryan Keller scored his third of the season to make it 2-1 as the 1st period ended.
After a scoreless 2nd period, the Barons would own the 3rd. Failing to score on their first power play opportunity of the period, they would take advantage of the second, with Brule scoring his second of the year at 13:44. The Barons would put it away at 19:03 as Josh Green would score the empty netter and the Barons rolled 4-1.
The Barons improve to 6-2-0-1 on the season after the weekend. When scoring first, the Barons are 6-0-0-0. The Barons will make their first trip north of Oklahoma City this season, heading to Abbotsford, British Columbia for a two-game set against the Heat. Playing both Thursday and Saturday, both games are at 9 pm Central(8 pm Mountain).
★★★ - Kirill Tulupov
★★ - Josh Green
★ - Philippe Cornet