The San Antonio Rampage continued their quest for the Calder Cup Thursday Night on the road against the Oklahoma City Barons. Midway through the first, the Barons opened up the scoring for this second round series. Hunter Tremblay netted his third goal of the post-season for the Barons, and minutes later Mark Arcobello tallied a power play goal to put Oklahoma City up 2-0. Before the first intermission, Alex Petrovic cut the Barons lead in half, as he fired a shot from the top of the face off circle, past Barons goalie Yann Danis, during the first Rampage power play of the night. Oklahoma City, however, regained their 2 goal lead just over a minute into the second. Mark Cullen brought the Rampage back within one a minute later, but the Barons struck again to take a 4-2 lead 3:48 into the second. The Rampage were able to come within one goal again, when Bill Thomas was able to get the puck past Danis. Towards the end of the second, Tyson Strachan went top shelf on the power play to tie the game at 4 heading into the second intermission. Defenseman Mike Caruso emerged as the “Game 1 Hero”, flicking his wrist to break the tie and net the Rampage’s game winning, fifth goal of the game to bring the score to 5-4 with just under 5 minutes remaining in the game. The Rampage would seal their Game One victory with Jon Matsumoto scoring to give the Rampage a 6-4 lead with less than 2 minutes to play.
Saturday Night the two teams faced off for the second tilt of the series. Oklahoma City opened the scoring once again to take a 1-0 lead in the beginning half of the first. San Antonio picked up their first goal of the night at the end of the first when Bill Thomas took advantage of Barons Defenseman Alex Plante sitting in the penalty box for tripping. The Rampage power play struck again, in the opening minutes of the second period. Mark Cullen shot one past Danis to put the Ramapge up 2-1 early in the second. Oklahoma City answered with two goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead heading into the third. The Barons had an opportunity in the second to make it a 4-2 game, but Jacob Markström denied Ryan Keller a goal on a penalty shot. Midway through the third, Evan Barlow picked up the Rampage’s third power play goal of the night to tie the game at 3. Before the buzzer sounded, both teams were able to get one more goal with Thomas scoring his second goal of the night for the Ramapge and Magnus Pääjärvi scoring his first goal of the series for the Barons with only 9 seconds remaining in the game. The two teams would head to overtime and after 9 minutes of extra time, Josh Green cleaned up a Pääjärvi shot to win the game 5-4 to the Barons.
The tied 1-1, best of seven series heads back to San Antonio for the next three games before heading back to Oklahoma City for the last two games if necessary. The schedule for the remainder of the round is as follows:
Game 3 – Mon., May 7 – Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 8:00 EDT
Game 4 – Thurs., May 10 – Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 8:00 EDT
Game 5 – Fri., May 11 – Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 8:00 EDT
*Game 6 – Sun., May 13 – San Antonio at Oklahoma City, 5:00 EDT
*Game 7 – Tue., May 15 – San Antonio at Oklahoma City, 8:00 EDT
*– If necessary
Watch: Highlights of San Antonio’s 6-4 Game 1 Victory
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