The Barons' connection from Stockton, Calif., came through.
Mark Arcobello scored twice and assisted on Anthony Aiello's game-winner in overtime as the Barons beat the Grand Rapids Griffins 6-5 in an American Hockey League game Friday night before 3,836 fans at the Cox Center.
Both AHL rookies have spent much of their time this season with the Edmonton Oilers' ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder.
“It was great for the guys to have a game like this,” Barons coach Todd Nelson said. “We've had a hard time scoring goals lately, but that line of (Chris) VandeVelde, Arcobello and (Teemu) Hartikainen was just outstanding tonight.”
Every player on the newly formed line scored as the Barons had more than three goals for the first time since Jan. 29. The Barons have been lacking offense lately since the NHL Oilers have recalled several Oklahoma City standouts, including top goal scorer Alexandre Giroux.
“Shame on me for not putting them together earlier,” Nelson said.
The Barons host Grand Rapids again at 7:05 tonight before embarking on a nine-game road trip. Oklahoma City does not return home until April 1.
The Famous Chicken, best known for performing at baseball games, will perform tonight.
Aiello likely wouldn't have been in the lineup if it wasn't for the Oilers' Thursday swap of defensemen Alex Plante and Jeff Petry.
Plante had played in back-to-back games with Edmonton and the Barons' loss in San Antonio on Thursday night. Nelson gave him the night off in favor of the defenseman from Boston College.
It paid off, as Aiello scored his first AHL goal just 36 seconds into overtime, on a give-and-go between him and Arcobello.
“It was just a great goal,” Nelson said. “Tonight was one of those games that was a bit hard on the ticker, but it was great to get the win.”
The Barons trailed 5-4 midway through the third period after the Griffins' Jamie Tardif scored his second power-play goal of the night.
But Oklahoma City answered less than a minute later. Hartikainen backhanded a rebound past Grand Rapids goaltender Jordan Pearce.
Aiello needed just 36 seconds to send the Barons to the win column.
The Barons scored a pair of power-play goals for the first time since Jan. 23.
Since that game, the Barons had gone just 6 of 75 with the man advantage.
Against Grand Rapids, they needed less than 1:30 in the second period to score on multiple power plays.