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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oklahoma City Barons Game 4 Recap; Brand New Series

After losing 5-2 to Hamilton in Game 1, the Barons dished it right back to the Bulldogs by winning Game 4 with the exact same score. With the 5 players that the Oilers sent down after their season having been with the Barons for a couple weeks now, the lines are starting to work together and the team's starting to get better. The top line of Alexandre Giroux - Brad Moran - Colin McDonald was notably absent on the score sheet on Wednesday night, but the other three lines stepped up and filled the void.

Most notably, just 3:06 into the game as the Barons were in the Hamilton end of the ice, Hunter Tremblay would steal a clearing attempt near the slot and backhand the puck past Bulldogs goaltender Drew MacIntyre to make it 1-0. That goal would be Tremblay's first pro goal. Seven minutes later, Nigel Dawes would get a pass from Dustin Boyd and shoot it towards Martin Gerber. Gerber would make the initial save but Ian Schultz would put it in and tie the game at 1.

The Barons would get a few chances early in the 2nd from Teemu Hartikainen, but he would be denied each time. 5:40 in, Ryan O'Marra would shoot a one-timer towards the net that Zack Stortini would tip and the puck would make it across the line to make it a 2-1 Barons lead. 8 minutes later, Paul Zanette would fire a screened shot past Gerber to tie it back up at 2. As the 2nd period wound down, the Barons would finally break through on the Power Play. After a Kyle Klubertanz holding call, Arcobello would receive a pass at the point and blast it by MacIntyre who was screened and send the teams to the locker room with a 3-2 Barons lead.

The Barons spent quite a bit of time on the Power Play in the 3rd, but wouldn't be able to break through the Hamilton PK. 11:26 in though, Linus Omark would do what he does best. Omark and Hartikainen would come into the zone on a 2 on 1. Hartikainen shot it towards MacIntyre but missed the net. Omark picked up the puck on the end boards and shot it at the back of MacIntyre's legs. The puck banked off and into the net of a stunned MacIntyre as the Barons grabbed a 4-2 lead. Hamilton would get one more chance on the PP, but couldn't score. They pulled MacIntyre for the extra attacker with about 2 minutes left, but Chris VandeVelde would put away the game with the empty netter at 19:20, assisted by Jeff Petry.

The Barons look to head back to Hamilton with the series lead as they head into Friday's Game 5. Still questionable are defensmen Kevin Montgomery and Colten Teubert, but Anthony Aiello stepped up well in their place on Wednesday. Would have to imagine that Gerber stays in net for Game 5 with how well he's been playing this week. Puck drops at 7:05 Central tomorrow.

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