In a game that started with a sizzle for the Oklahoma City Barons became a struggle and ultimately ended with one of the most disappointing losses of the season.
The Barons scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the opening period against Milwaukee on Friday night, and the team with the best record in the American Hockey League looked like it would cruise to another victory.
But the Barons appeared complacent over the next period and half as the Admirals tied the game before the first period ended and rallied to defeat Oklahoma City, 5-3, at the Cox Convention Center.
“We got two quick goals at the start there, and maybe we thought it was going to be easy,” Barons' coach Todd Nelson said.
Linus Omark, playing his first home game for the Barons since Nov. 12 because of an ankle injury, scored 6:15 into the first period and teammate Tyler Pitlick added another barely three minutes later as Oklahoma City jumped to a 2-0 lead.
But Milwaukee scored twice in the final 2:01 of the first period to seize the momentum, the second goal on a fluke play where Admirals' forward Ryan Thang was credited with a goal even after tripping the Barons' Mark Arcobello.
Arcobello flung the puck after he was tripped as he was sliding into the boards. The puck ricocheted off a Barons' defenseman and past goaltender Yann Danis. Thang was credited with the goal because he was the last Admirals player to touch the puck.
“We got a bad break,” Nelson said of the play. “Not too many times that happens. They didn't have possession of the puck, that's why the goal stands.”