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.”
Pickard was Nashville's No. 1 pick in 2008, selected 18th overall. But at age 24, Pickard no longer is viewed as an elite prospect.
One reason Pickard is in Oklahoma City is the Edmonton Oilers, the Barons NHL parent club, want 20-year-old Laurent Brossoit to get more time in net with Double-A Bakersfield (Calif.). Brossoit has played well with the Condors, posting five shutouts and a 0.99 goals against average.
“There's a great debate whether we bring Brossoit back up,” Nelson said. “He wouldn't get as many minutes. Down there, he gets more experience. All those type of things come into play. It's an organizational decision.”
Charlotte center Victor Rask scored 33 seconds into the game. Matthew Pistilli, a 25-year-old veteran recently called up after leading the ECHL in scoring, had two goals.
Pistilli, who has four goals in six games with Charlotte, scored his second goal 25 seconds after Chris Terry lit the lamp to make it 4-0.
The Barons outshot Charlotte 43-38, including 35-17 the final two periods. But a 4-0 hole was too much to overcome.
“We have to limit turnovers and be aware,” Bachman said. “They like to send guys. We have to be aware of their rush game because that's where they killed us tonight.”