OKC Barons: Charlotte uses big first period to cruise past Barons

Oklahoma City and Charlotte will wrap up the two-game series at 7 p.m. Saturday at Cox Center.
by Michael Baldwin Published: January 10, 2014

Backup goaltender Chet Pickard posted a solid win in his first Barons start last weekend. His second start was much less memorable.

Pickard allowed four goals in the first 15 minutes of the Barons' 5-2 American Hockey League loss to the Charlotte Checkers on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.

With 5:26 left in the first period, Barons coach Todd Nelson pulled Pickard, inserting No. 1 goalie Richard Bachman.

“We got scored on the first shift, lost two forwards (to injuries) early in the game and it snowballed from there,” Nelson said. “That was one of the worst periods I've seen our team play in my four years here. The bottom line is it's a team game. The game was lost the first 15 minutes.”

The Checkers outshot the Barons 21-8 in the first period to build a 4-0 lead. Charlotte fired 15 shots at Pickard before he exited.

“I've been in that same exact position before,” Bachman said. “It's no fun for the goalie or the guys. The one positive is we came out in the second period and started establishing the game we've been playing the past few weeks.”

Pulling a goalie after a rough start is common, but Nelson had other variables to consider.

Bachman, a 26-year-old veteran with NHL experience, started Thursday night in the Barons' 3-2 win over Utica and will get the start Saturday night at 7 against Charlotte. It will be OKC's and Bachman's third game in three nights.

“I had to do it,” Nelson said. “Chet would probably like to have the first goal back, but after that it was the guys in front of him that were playing brutal. It was point-blank opportunities. They had four or five breakaways. You can't fault him on that.”

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by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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