Before Tuesday's Game 4 against Houston, Barons winger Teemu Hartikainen said there was a different atmosphere around the team.
“You just felt in the locker room, everyone was so into tonight,” Hartikainen said. “Everyone was ready to go and do whatever it takes to win. I think we felt a little too good after the first two games.”
It wasn't as pretty as the first two games of the series in Houston, but the Barons got the job done, beating the Aeros 5-2 in front of 1,922 at the Cox Center to advance to the second round of the AHL's Calder Cup playoffs.
The Barons won the series 3-1.
“It's a great step in the right direction,” Mark Arcobello said. “It's the first step of hopefully a long playoff run here. We're going to take a couple days with this and get focused into the next round.”
Arcobello got the scoring started six minutes in, and the line of Arcobello, Tyler Pitlick and Hunter Tremblay double-shifted in the second period.
The Barons will open the second round at home, likely sometime next week, although the opponent is still to be decided. If San Antonio wins its series against Chicago, the Barons would play the Rampage. If Chicago wins that series, the Barons would play the winner of the Abbotsford-Milwaukee series.
The Barons twice took a one-goal lead in the first two periods before the Aeros answered.
But Dylan Yeo blasted a shot past Mike Brodeur just before the midpoint of the second to put the Barons ahead for good.