Midway through the second period Sunday, the Barons held a 1-0 lead over Houston but ran into a sticky situation trying to protect it.
After two tripping calls in a 1-minute, 16-second span, the Barons spent nearly one minute defending against Houston's 5-on-3 power play.
But the Barons' defensive effort, even while short-handed, prevented the Aeros from any clean looks during the stretch. If it hadn't been already, the tone officially became set with that shift and spurred the Barons on to the shutout.
“That was a huge kill for us,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “Special teams weren't the greatest thing in game one, but I think we're slowly climbing up the ladder on special teams now.”
On Sunday, the Barons finished 1-for-5 in the power play. They held the Aeros to 0-for-6.
“We want to be in the top-10 in both categories, and usually if you're in the top-10 in both penalty kills and power play, you make the playoffs. That's a very important thing for us,” Nelson said.
BARONS TOUGH AT HOME — SO FAR
Kicking off a five-game home stand with two wins is nice. But the Barons believe allowing just one goal in those two contests could send a message to the rest of the American Hockey League about what they can expect when they travel to Oklahoma City.
“We want to be a solid team on the road but (also) at home,” said goaltender Yann Danis. “I think it's important to play real well at home and let the other teams in the league know that's it's not going to be easy when they come here to get two points. And I think we showed that this weekend.”
1. Yann Danis
In his 28-save shutout, he delivered 14 saves in the final period.
2. Philippe Cornet
He was the difference-maker offensively, scoring the game's only two goals.
3. Ryan O'Marra
Of the team's four assists, O'Marra had an assist on the game-winner.
The Barons notched their first win against Houston in Oklahoma City. The Barons had not beaten the Aeros since Oct. 17, 2010, in Houston … With 1:27 remaining in the first period Sunday, Ryan Keller attempted the fourth penalty shot in Barons history. He missed, getting stopped by goaltender Dennis Endras. But it was the first penalty shot for the Barons in Oklahoma City. …The Barons were outshot 28-18, including 14-2 in the third period.