The Barons’ domination of the Aeros continued into the second period, peppering 21 more shots, but this time Oklahoma City got to Hackett.
Teemu Hartikainen scored just 22 seconds into a power play. Tremblay made it 3-0 at 15:53 in the second, redirecting an Arcobello shot down and through Hackett‘s legs. Tanner House scored just 50 seconds later off a rebound of a Antti Tyrvainen shot and into an open net as Hackett was down.
House’s goal chased Hackett, who made 33 saves in just under 37 minutes of action. The Barons finished with a season-high 48 shots.
“He’s a good goalie,” Nelson said of Hackett, who played 12 games this season for the Minnesota Wild, the Aeros’ NHL affiliate. “There wasn’t frustration. We knew it was going to take time. … We knew if we stuck to the game plan, we would be fine.”
Anton Lander made it 5-0, beating Houston backup goaltender Mike Brodeur at 15:59 in the third period.
“We came out that hard and maybe caught them off guard a little,” Tremblay said. “Once you start rolling like that, you get into a rhythm, and we were able to keep that all night. It makes things easier.”
Nelson said his job as coach is to keep his players motivated heading into Game 2 because he knows things will be more difficult. Oklahoma City has won eight of nine meetings against the Aeros this season.
“It’s still early,” Nelson said. “It’s just one game. It would be nice to get the win (Friday), but we know how tough it is going to be. Houston is going to be better. It will be a lot tougher game, so we have to be ready.”