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Battle of Alberta - AHL Style

The Oklahoma City Barons traveled to Abbotsford, British Columbia, their first trip north of the border for their first two game set against the now-divisional rival Abbotsford Heat this season. Already on a two-game winning streak, the Barons needed to continue the streak to keep pace with the Houston Aeros, who were on a six-game point earning streak.

With Linus Omark joining the team, and Colten Teubert making his NHL debut, the Barons called up training camp invitee Dan Ringwald to fill in the open defensive spot.

Thursday night, the Barons and Heat met for the first of their two-game set. After an uneventful 1st period, other than a single penalty to both teams, the Heat finally put one past Yann Danis to break the scoring drought at 13:38, and again at 17:35 to make it a 2-0 game as the teams headed to the locker room.

As the 3rd period rolled on, the Barons mounted a a comeback. At 10:46, Linus Omark and his "Omarkian Magic" were on full display as he set up Ryan Lowery from behind the net to make it a 2-1 game. Just 27 seconds later, Gilbert Brule tied it up after picking up a Mark Arcobello rebound.

In much the same fashion that the Barons lost a game last weekend, the Heat's Quinton Laing took a high-sticking penalty at 17:55 to give the Barons a power play opportunity for the remainder of regulation. Kevin Montgomery took advantage of it, receiving a pass from Curtis Hamilton, and depositing it in the back of the net for a 3-2 lead with 36 seconds remaining, and the lead would hold up.

Game two on Saturday saw David LeNeveu in net, and Arcobello, Teemu Hartikainen, and Triston Grant watching this one from the press box. The Heat started out strong, after an initial Heat goal just 1:16 in, the Heat scored again at 4:12 on a bad decision by LeNeveu during a power play. Philippe Cornet didn't let the two-goal lead last long though, and he scored later on in the power play, making it a 2-1 Heat lead.

The lead wouldn't last much longer though as Ryan Keller, Linus Omark, and Josh Green connected to tie the game at 2-2, with Green getting the goal. Unable to convert on a five minute slashing major on the Heat, the Barons headed to the locker room with the score tied. Halfway into the 2nd, the Barons saw their first lead of the game. 9:41 in, Josh Green found the net for a second time in the game, this time from Omark on his second assist to put the Barons up 3-2. The Heat answered three minutes later during a Barons too many men penalty kill, and the game was again tied, this time at 3-3.

With two minutes left in the 3rd, Ryan O`Marra was tagged for hooking, but the Barons were able to kill it off, and the teams went to overtime locked in a 3-3 tie. At 1:41 of the overtime period, the Heat were called for a holding the stick penalty, and that was all Omark, Keller, and Gilbert Brule needed. Omark picked up his third assist, Keller his second, and Brule got his second point to give the Barons the 4-3 overtime win over the Heat.

With the weekend all said and done, the Barons have a four-game winning streak and currently lead the AHL in points percentage. As the Barons return home, they will take on the Toronto Marlies, the team that Linus Omark scored five goals against last season, on Tuesday morning for the Kid's Day Game. The Barons will then get a few days break before they meet the Charlotte Checkers for a two-game set on Friday and Saturday, and then a trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin as they take on the Admirals for the first time this season on Sunday.

★★★ - Kevin Montgomery
★★ - Josh Green
★ - Linus Omark