Coach Todd Nelson described his OKC Barons team as playing with “swagger.” “It doesn’t matter what the score is, you know you can win that game [….] When you play with swagger, it’s not cockiness, but it’s that inner confidence that you know you can come back on a team, or you can hold that 1-0 lead or 2-0 lead […] Sometimes teams don’t find a swagger and that’s something that is very important if you are going to win a championship.”

The OKC Barons’ swagger, plus some great goaltending today by Yann Danis, placed the team at the top of their Western division at 9-2-0-1.

The first period was scoreless as the Barons successfully killed four powerplays. OKC goaltender Yann Danis stopped all twelve shots by the Toronto Marlies, while the Marlies goaltender Mark Owuya saved all nine shots by the Barons.

Toronto Marlies Simon Gysbers scored the first goal in the game at 14:12 into the second period, assisted by Nazem Kadri and Marcel Mueller. Later in the second Teemu Hartikainen scored for the Barons with a pass from Linus Omark at 18:45, assisted by Ryan Lowery. The second period ended in a tie at 1-1, with 9 shots by the Marlies and 8 by the Barons.

At 8:03 into the third period Triston Grant scored for the Barons when he pushed the puck between the Marlies goaltender Mark Owuya and the goal post. Grant’s goal was assisted by Alex Plante and Chris VandeVelde. Near the end of the third period Hunter Tremblay scored a short-handed goal in the Marlies’ empty net at 18:44 to end the game 3-1.

The Barons killed all eleven powerplays today — that is the good news. The bad news is that their penalties add up to more than one period. Four of these penalties occurred in the last half of the third period and this could easily have been a disaster for the Barons who were up against a very talented Marlies team with Nazem Kadri.

It was a pleasure to watch Linus Omark today in OKC and we could well see him remain here in OKC for a few more games before returning to Edmonton. It was also good to see Kirill Tulupov on the ice again with Johan Motin — I am looking forward to seeing more of this pair and I expect to see some Tulupov goals from that mean shot of his in the near future.

The three stars of the game were Triston Grant, Yann Danis and Nazem Kadri. Yann Danis had an outstanding day, saving 33 of 34 shots today, and Mark Owuya stopped 22 of 24 shots on goal for the Toronto Marlies.

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This weekend the Barons will play the Charlotte Checkers again on Friday and Saturday evening at 7pm. Join us!!

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