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OKC Barons can't solve Houston

By Mike Baldwin Published: March 22, 2013

The Oklahoma City Barons' frustration with the Houston Aeros continued Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.

A 3-2 American Hockey League loss in front of 4,098 fans was the most recent one-goal loss to the Aeros.

Houston has won eight of 10 meetings with Oklahoma City this season. Six of the eight losses have been by one goal. Another loss, on New Year's Day, technically was a one-goal loss, with the Aeros scoring an insurance empty-net goal in the waning seconds.

“It's weird,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “I'm having flashbacks to our first season, when Houston had our number all year. It's funny how things work.

“It's amazing we beat a team like (Western Conference leader) Texas seven times, the most losses they've had against any team, and we have a tough time against Houston. I don't know if it's because of how we match up or what.”

Team captain Josh Green said the Aeros are motivated by OKC dominating the series last season, including winning three of four in the first round of the playoffs.

“We took it to them pretty good last year,” Green said. “For some reason this year they've had an edge over us. I think they kind of remember what happened last year. But give them credit, they're a good team.”

Both teams scored a goal 17 seconds apart midway through the first period.

The Aeros took a 2-1 lead on Brian Connelly's tip-in goal midway through the second period, then built a 3-1 cushion on Mikael Granlund's goal early in the third period.

“We had him marked,” Nelson said. “Their defenseman (Steven Kampler) made a great play, throwing it to the far side. Granlund is pretty nifty around the net. That's basically one of those things where it's a one-on-one battle.”

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