Oklahoma City Barons: Barons' loaded lineup loses season opener at Lake Erie, 2-1
NHL stars Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle fire a combined six shots but fail to score. Lake Erie's Andrew Agozzino scores with 3:33 left in the game.
CLEVELAND — Turns out the Oklahoma City Barons are not going to steamroll through the American Hockey League.
The Barons were defeated 2-1 by the Lake Erie Monsters in their season-opener before 12,011 fans on Friday at the Quicken Loans Arena.
After erasing a 1-0 deficit, the Barons were burned in the final five minutes when defenseman Martin Marincin misfired on a shot in the Monsters zone. Andrew Agozzino converted the turnover into the deciding goal.
The Edmonton Oilers farm team has been anointed as the team to beat in the AHL this season and rightly so when the numbers are laid out in black and white.
The Barons had five first-round NHL draft picks in their lineup on Friday, including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the first pick overall in 2011, and Jordan Eberle, the Oilers' top pick in 2008.
The duo is spending the NHL lockout with the Barons, who have 16 players back from the team that came out of the AHL's Western Conference as the top seed last spring, bowing out to the Toronto Marlies on May 25. Toronto was swept by the Norfolk Admirals in the Calder Cup final.
Since then, the Barons have added: Justin Schultz, the unproven yet sought after free-agent defenseman the Oilers signed on June 30; Taylor Fedun, who was close to making the NHL roster before he shattered his femur; and of course, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins, NHL award finalists both for their work in 2011-12.
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