The Houston Aeros defeated the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday night by a 4-3 shootout victory. But it was a hard earned win for the Houston team given they are developing an unnerving trend over the past two games, one that they better hope doesn’t continue.
For the second straight game the Aeros fell behind 3-0 to the Barons and again relied on some third period magic to get the game to overtime. Friday night saw Jordan Eberle ruin the comeback attempt by the Aeros but Saturday would see the visiting team complete the comeback and win it in a shootout.
After skating to a scoreless draw in the first period, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins potted his third of the season less than a minute in to the second period to give Oklahoma the lead. The next 19 minutes would see the teams trade scoring chances in what was a tight checking affair, only to see Nugent-Hopkins goal as the long marker through forty minutes.
Jordan Eberle scored his fifth of the year only ten seconds in to the third period and he would then get his second goal of the game five minutes later to put the Barons up 3-0. A lead that appeared to be safe given the Aeros inability to beat Barons netminder Yann Danis.
But similar to Friday night, the Aeros would find their game thanks to a David McIntyre spark when the centreman sniped his second goal of the season. And the Aeros were not done yet.
Chay Genoway would make it a one goal game before Joel Broda popped his first of the year, tying the game and stunning the Barons in the process. Genoway and Broda’s goals were under a minute apart, proving that by putting the puck on the net, anything can happen.
The Barons had to be thinking this is where they break Houston’s heart for the second straight night by scoring the winner at some point before regulation time expired. But alas Matt Hackett stood tall in the Aeros goal and set the stage for the shootout when five minutes of sudden death overtime proved to be not enough to decide the contest.
In the shootout, after Hackett stopped Eberle as the first shooter, Zack Phillips was able to beat Danis to put Houston ahead. Justin Schultz of the Barons was denied and so was Kris Foucault for Houston. Hackett then stopped Nugent-Hopkins giving Houston the opportunity to win the game and it was Justin Fontaine who delivered the knockout blow and gave the Aeros the win.
The victory improves Houston’s record to 5-3-0-1 and currently sit tied with OKC in the South Division, just two points back of the Charlotte Checkets.
The Aeros won’t have a lot of time to savor the win as they return home to host the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday night.
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