One night after one of their best defensive performances of the season, the Oklahoma City Barons turned in their worst against the same team.
The Barons followed up Friday's win over the Texas Stars by surrendering a season-high seven goals on Saturday night in a 7-2 loss to the Stars at the Cox Convention Center.
“With a loss like that, you've just got to sweep it under the rug and move forward,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson, whose team shut out the Stars 2-0 on Friday night. “We had a split against a pretty good team this weekend, but we've got to start making some hay here in the standings now. I'm seeing some positive things, but there's some things we've really got to clean up.”
The Barons remain in third place in the AHL's West Division, falling 13 points behind the Stars.
It didn't take long for the Stars to get the scoring started as Travis Morin found the net just 23 seconds into the game.
The Barons answered quickly as Ryan Martinsdale scored less than a minute later. Texas closed out the first-period scoring with Ryan Button converting on a power-play opportunity to give the Stars a 2-1 advantage after one.
Will Acton tied the game once again, scoring midway through the second period on assists from David Musil and Tyler Pitlick.
But the Stars quickly regained their third lead of the game as Taylor Vause scored just 20 seconds after Acton's equalizer.
Morin's second goal of the night was the backbreaker, putting the Stars up 4-2 late in the second period.
“I think the fourth goal sunk us a bit,” Nelson said. “The puck was coming up the wall and it just happened that it was just beside the linesman. Marty Marincin was going to clear it, and his stick got caught up in the linesman's skates. All of the sudden it results in a 2-on-1 and they capitalize. That was probably the biggest goal.”
Nelson blamed a lack of discipline on defense as the biggest difference between Friday night's shutout and Saturday's rout.
“The odd-man rushes are one of the things we've really got to clean up,” Nelson said. “That comes from responsibility and back checking. Some guys are doing it some of the time, but we've got to do it all the time. That comes from heart and determination.”