The Houston Aeros evened their record on the season by picking up their third win of the year on Friday night when they defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 6-4 in what was a high scoring, entertaining game.
The game featured many of the NHL’s future stars with names like Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Magnus Paajarvi and Justin Schultz for the Barons while the Aeros boasted guys like Mikael Granlund and Matt Hackett. In the end it was the baby Wild who would persevere over the baby Oilers on this night and if this game was any indication, I can’t wait for these two teams to lock horns again. We won’t have to wait long as they clash again on Sunday night.
In what was the first of two trips to Oklahoma City, the Aeros took the play to the Barons for most of the night. Right from the opening draw the Aeros peppered Barons netminder, Yann Danis with rubber outshooting their opposition 13-8 through the first twenty minutes, but found themselves down on the scoreboard by a count of 3-2.
The first twenty minutes were wildly entertaining with five goals being scored. Charlie Coyle and Justin Fontaine lit the lamp for Houston while Paajarvi, Tanner House and Marc Arcobello tallied for the home team Barons.
The middle frame was much of the same in terms of Aeros pressure, but this time they managed to win the period and tie the game heading into the final stretch. Goals by Granlund and Carson MacMillan pulled the Aeros even and it set the stage for an invigorating final period.
The third was all Aeros as they outshot the Barons 18-8 and outscored them 2-0 on goals by Chad Rau and Fontaine’s second of the game to seal the deal late in the contest.
One key to the Aeros success was keeping both Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins off the scoreboard, although Nugent-Hopkins did register an assist in the game. The young phenom defencemen, Justin Schutlz who we featured yesterday here at Gone Puck Wild, picked up another two points, giving him nine on the season in only six games.
It’s worth noting that Aeros goaltender, Matt Hackett was pulled in the first period after he allowed 3 goals on the first 5 shots by the Barons, ending his night early. He would give way to Darcy Kuemper who would earn the victory, a fairly easy one given he only had to make 14 saves.
The win gives the Aeros a record of 3-3 and are right back in action tonight as they host the Milwaukee Admirals before heading back to OKC on Sunday.
We’ll keep you posted all weekend long on the results of the Aeros’ games.