The recent AHL realignment placed one of last season’s Eastern Conference Calder Cup finalists into the Western Division and as a result, the OKC Barons (4-2-0-1) met the Charlotte Checkers (5-2-1-0) for the first time last night. Watching this game reminded me of one of the extraordinarily fast playing aggressive Western Conference NHL teams against one of the slower Eastern Conference NHL teams. The Checkers, the AHL affiliate to the Carolina Hurricanes, were fast down the ice, quick to the net, aggressive and in the Barons’ face the entire night, outshooting the Barons 36 – 23.
At 13:57 into the first period, Charlotte scored first with a goal by Jerome Samson, assisted by Chris Durno and Brett Bellemore. Barons’ goaltender Yann Danis fended off 11 Checkers’ shots on goal during the first period and another 14 shots on goal during the second.
The Barons were able to fire more shots on goal during the second, 11-14, and finally got on the scoreboard at 4:08 into the second period with Mark Arcobello’s goal, assisted by Ryan Lowery and Hunter Tremblay.
With the game tied at 1-1 going into the third period, the Checkers put even more pressure on the Barons and the Barons only had 5 shots on goal. There were a number of Barons attempts that were well executed and would have been absolutely beautiful had the Checkers goaltender Mike Murphy not stopped them cold.
Near the end of the third with the game tied, a roughing penalty called on Colten Teubert put the Checkers on a powerplay and Matthew Pistilli scored at 19:16 with Bobby Sanguinetti and Riley Nash assisting, giving the Checkers the lead 2-1 to win the game.
Barons’ goaltender Yann Danis stopped 34 of 36 shots on goal and the Checkers’ goaltender Mike Murphy stopped 22 of 23 shots on goal.
The Barons will have seven more opportunities to challenge the Charlotte Checkers. After the game Mark Arcobello commented on their future meetings, “I think next time we’ll be more prepared. I think the next time we play them we’ll know a little more about them and hopefully it’ll go a little bit better for us.”
With the announcement that Ryan Whitney would be out due to injury for approximately three to four weeks, yesterday morning the Edmonton Oilers called up Jeff Petry, who had played only two games with the Barons so far this season. Petry had been assigned to the Barons on Oct. 19th.
The OKC Barons go on the road today for their next four games. Today they face the Houston Aeros and tomorrow the Barons will play in San Antonio against the Rampage. On Nov. 3rd and 5th, the Barons will face the Abbotsford Heat. The next home game in Oklahoma City will take place on Nov. 8th against the Toronto Marlies in a 10:30am morning School Day game.
For professional photographs of the Barons games see: