SAN ANTONIO — Chris VandeVelde’s top-shelf wrist shot with 4:10 left in overtime gave the Oklahoma City Barons a 2-1 win over the San Antonio Rampage in Game 3 of an American Hockey League Western Conference semifinal series.
The Barons, with back-to-back overtime victories, now lead the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 is 7 p.m. Thursday, and Game 5 is 7 p.m. Friday. The Barons could close out the series by winning both games are at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. At the worst, Oklahoma City assured itself of an “if-necessary” home game, which would be Game 6 at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Cox Center.
VandeVelde atoned for his third-period slashing penalty that the Rampage converted for their lone goal of the game. VandeVelde waited for San Antonio goaltender Jacob Markstrom to make his move before scoring his second goal of the postseason.
“(VandeVelde) had good patience and poise, a real heads up play,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson.
VandeVelde, who beat Markstrom for a goal in Game 2 on Saturday at the Cox Center, said: “I really wanted to pass it over to (Hunter) Tremblay. “I felt pretty bad when I took that penalty and they evened it up. Let’s not kid ourselves. They could have easily won that game as well.”
It appeared the Barons won with 10:54 left in OT when defenseman Dylan Yeo drilled a shot into an open net, but Oklahoma City’s Teemu Hartikainen was called for goaltender interference. That gave San Antonio’s power play unit a big chance. The Rampage entered Monday night’s game leading AHL playoff teams with seven power-play goals and a sizzling 38 percent success rate.
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