The Barons fired 45 shots at San Antonio goaltender Jacob Markstrom on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center. It was a game they could have scored six or seven goals.
On a night they were frustrated, the Barons still found a way to escape with a 3-2 shootout win.
Taylor Hall collected 10 shots, the second most in the American Hockey League franchise's history. Hall had an assist on both regulation goals but didn't score a night after recording a hat trick in a road win against the Texas Stars.
“It's kind of a bitter sweet feeling,” Hall said. “I'm glad we got the win, but it's a really frustrating night when you have that many chances and can't put it in for the boys. We had a lot of chances but couldn't score.”
A good example was the Barons peppered Markstrom with five shots but came up empty during a 5-on-3 power play late in regulation.
“Give their goalie credit. He played well,” said Jordan Eberle, who also had two assists. “Me and Hallsy had some backdoor chances. We hit the post a few times. We had others that just missed. But at the end of the day we found a way to win.”
The Barons (16-10-4) got the win by ending a shootout slump. OKC was 0-3 in shootouts, all three losses against Houston. In those losses the Barons were 2-of-14.
This time, Magnus Paajarvi scored on OKC's first shootout chance. After the Rampage tied it, Eberle scored. That was enough when Barons goaltender Olivier Roy stopped four of the Rampage's five shootout shots.
The Barons had 14 shots in the first period, 15 in the second, 14 in the third and one in overtime.
“San Antonio can give teams fits,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “Our guys just kept things simple, put it on net and rebounds were there. Eventually, when you make a goalie work that hard, things start to break down. But Markstrom played great. It was a great win by our guys.”
The Rampage (11-17-4) scored two second period goals to lead 2-0.
The Barons regained the momentum when Teemu Hartikainen scored a power-play goal with less than a second left in the second period. It was so close to the buzzer that officials had to review the play.
“We scored with four tenths of a second left. That's cutting it too close,” Nelson said. “But that goal gave us a lot of life.”
The Barons tied it less than five minutes into the third period. The goal caromed in off Mark Arcobello's body, a deflection off a rebound from Hall's shot.
Hall, who has scored 29 points in 22 games, used some fancy stick work, dragging the puck between his legs, to get off the shot.
“Those are the kind of moves you practice in the backyard as a little kid,” Hall said. “At this level, hopefully you're good enough to pull them enough. All three of us on the line respect each other enough to try those kinds of moves.”
The Barons, who won 5-4 Thursday night against the Texas Stars, didn't arrive back in Oklahoma City until 5:30 a.m.
“Our guys stuck with it,” Nelson said. “This was a very big character team for our team to come back against a goaltender that played outstanding. It was a very gratifying win.”