Looking like the team that made a run to the Western Conference finals the past two years, the Oklahoma City Barons scored two early goals and played solid defense to post a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night in front of 6,196 fans at the Cox Convention Center.
The Barons have surrendered 135 goals this season, the second most in the 30-team American Hockey League. But in Saturday's win, the Barons never trailed.
“I'd always prefer to have more than a one-goal lead but it did maybe have the flavor from two years ago,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “We played pretty good defensively and (Richard) Bachman was excellent in net. It was a solid win.”
After killing off a five-on-three penalty midway through the first period, Will Acton and Brad Hunt scored goals late in the opening period to give the Barons a 2-0 lead.
“We've been coming from behind so often it was great having the lead,” Hunt said. “Knowing we don't have to play in desperation mode late we can just play our game.”
The two early goals were enough for Bachman, who recorded 32 saves for his seventh win of the season.
Bachman's highlight saves were stopping a rebound with his glove near the goal line early in the third period and a key stop late in the game that preserved the 2-1 lead.
“He had four or five quality saves that were outstanding,” Nelson said. “The save he made in the second period was exceptional when they were trying to jam the puck in. That save he made late in the third when the net came off (the posts) was the game in a nutshell.”