Frustration doesn't come close to describing the Barons' mood following a 4-2 loss to San Antonio on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.
Similar to losses last weekend, the Barons dominated play, outshooting the Rampage 48-25 in the American Hockey League game.
The bottom line was San Antonio rallied to hand Oklahoma City its fifth straight loss.
“It's frustrating,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “If you're not getting scoring chances, that's a red flag. We got scoring chances tonight. We just didn't finish. And (San Antonio goaltender Jacob) Markstrom made some great saves.”
The final score was misleading. OKC led 2-1 midway through the third period. The Rampage tied it with 10:27 to play, taking advantage of a two-on-one opportunity.
San Antonio went ahead with 5:18 remaining on a fluke goal that bounced off the post, then caromed into the net after hitting OKC defenseman Nathan Deck's leg.
“Those things happen,” said Nelson, whose team plays the Rampage again at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Cox Center. “We'll be in games where something fluky happens for us. It always seems to even out. But this has been tough. The last three games we've played well. The guys deserved a better fate.”
In the last three games, the Barons have outshot San Antonio, Texas and Charlotte 119-60 but have been outscored 11-5.
“We played a good game,” said Ryan Martindale who scored his first AHL goal. “We put a lot of pressure on them. We had a lot of opportunities. We'll get our bounces in the future. Hopefully in these close games we can pull out a couple of wins.”
The 48 shots fired at Markstrom were a season high for OKC, just three shy of the Barons franchise record.
“We had almost 50 shots, so we should score more than two goals,” said Toni Rajala, who had a hand in both OKC goals. “We had lots of scoring chances. We just have to score.”
The Barons certainly miss four young Oiler stars that accounted for 55 goals the three months they were in Oklahoma City.
“They're finishers,” Nelson said. “That's why they play on the top line in Edmonton. Our guys just have to stick with it.”
It's not as if the Barons haven't had opportunities.
Mark Arcobello tied a Barons franchise record with 12 shots on goal, nearly half as many as San Antonio's entire roster. The telling stat was Arcobello was minus-2.
“Some games everything goes in. Other games you can't buy a goal,” Martindale said. “We have a lot of good offensive talent on this team. With the big guys going up, that gives everyone an opportunity to step in and show what they have.”
The Barons dominated the first period, outshooting the Rampage 19-2 but only had a 1-0 lead to show for it, Martindale scoring off a beautiful Tyler Pitlick pass.
San Antonio's Jon Rheault scored his 14th goal of the season, a short-handed goal, five minutes into the second period to tie it. Rajala's goal early in the third period gave OKC a 2-1 lead.
The Rampage scored two goals within a five-minute span to take the lead and added an empty-netter with 19 seconds left.
“We can't hang our heads,” Nelson said. “We have to refocus for tomorrow. If we get that same effort. eventually good things will start happening for us.”