Sweatt’s second goal of the game was indicative of Chicago’s 3-0 defeat of the Barons Saturday night in Cox Convention Center. The loss was Oklahoma City’s second in consecutive nights, and its second to the Wolves this season.
“He’s a fast player, and he can really move his feet out there,” Barons coach Todd Nelson said of Sweatt. “Anytime you see him streaking down the wing you have to be aware of him.”
Chicago (40-26-6) skated the game’s first two periods with purpose and scored two of its three goals inside the first 11 minutes of the game.
“They came out hard in the first,” Danis said. “They’re fighting to clinch their division. We knew they were going to come hard, and that’s the kind of team we’re going to have to go through to get to the cup.”
The Wolves are 3-1-1 in their last five games and are fighting for playoff berth. Nelson knows the Barons could potentially face Chicago in postseason play but isn’t fazed by that fact.
“I don’t care who we play,” he said. “Playoffs is a different season, and history has proven it doesn’t matter what you do in the season — it’s playoff time that counts.”
Nelson said he was disappointed with his team’s performance and expected more from it on its home ice.
“In the second and third we started playing better, but by then it was too late,” he said. “Our guys worked hard for a couple periods, but we have to understand we have to elevate our game here.”
The Barons recently clinched the Western Division title and could have had an issue with complacency, but Danis didn’t think that was the case.
“We’ve been talking all week how we’re trying to clinch that first spot in the conference and also build some confidence for the playoffs,” he said. “We didn’t do that this weekend.”
Oklahoma City (43-21-9) has just three games remaining on its regular season schedule to return to winning ways before beginning the playoffs. Danis laid that duty at his and his teammates’ feet.
“It’s now or never to build confidence,” he said. “If we don’t play well now, it’s not gonna get easier in the playoffs. We definitely shouldn’t be satisfied, and we should want more.