OKC Barons: Chris VandeVelde scores again in OT, Barons a win shy of advancing to Western Conference finals
Oklahoma City tries to clinch series with a 7 p.m. game Friday at San Antonio. All three of OKC's series wins have come in overtime.
SAN ANTONIO — Overtime playoff hockey is suddenly Barons hockey.
After avoiding overtime in their first 11 playoff games in franchise history, the Barons needed extra time for the third-straight contest Thursday night — and for the third straight time, Oklahoma City took the game’s last shot.
And once again, it was Chris VandeVelde with the Barons’ dagger, lifting a backhander over San Antonio goaltender, Jacob Markstrom just 1:05 into overtime for a 2-1 victory and a commanding 3-1 series lead in the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs. The Barons can advance to the Western Conference finals against the Toronto Marlies by winning Friday night at the AT&T Center. Game time is 7.
If San Antonio manages to win Friday, then the Barons would host Game 6 at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Cox Center. The Rampage needs to win three consecutive games against the Western Division champion Barons to advance.
Magnus Paajarvi began the winning play by keeping the puck alive in the San Antonio zone and found Teemu Hartikainen down low. The Edmonton Oilers’ sixth-round pick threw the puck in front, where VandeVelde, who scored the OT winner Monday night, lured Markstrom into reaching for the puck before flipping it into the open net.
“We came out strong (in the overtime). We got the bounces,” said VandeVelde on his third goal of the playoffs. “I had a little space to put it in, and I did.”
VandeVelde was skating on the same line with Paajarvi and Hartikainen since Josh Green missed the game with a minor injury. It is not known if Green will play Friday night.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 18669Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10379Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9301Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 7759Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 6777UPDATE: Search continues for boy, 17, missing in Uncle John Creek in Kingfisher
- 6498Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 6417Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed