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Under the Scope: Barons vs. Bulldogs - Game 4

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

Following Tuesday's emotional shutout victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs to draw the series closer, Oklahoma City looked to even the North Division Semi-Final matchup tonight with a second consecutive triumph over the same visiting squad.

The Barons and Bulldogs traded goals through 39 minutes, but a late-period power-play strike by Mark Arcobello put Oklahoma City up 3-2 before the second intermission. The Barons would register an additional two goals, including an empty-netter by Chris VandeVelde late to seal a 5-2 victory Wednesday night.

Martin Gerber recorded another strong performance, turning aside 29 of the 31 Hamilton shots he faced. The veteran netminder improves his post-season record to 2-1.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

With the Barons and Bulldogs locked in a 2-2 draw late in the second period, a man-advantage chance emerged for the home side. Oklahoma City was without a power-play tally in the series, but Mark Arcobello changed that with a dribbling one-timer that beat Bulldogs goaltender Drew MacIntyre. Following a series of passes between Linus Omark and Bryan Helmer, the puck eventually found the tape of Arcobello who blasted the puck on net. His goal put the Barons up for good, as the home side scored twice more in the third to down the Bulldogs 5-2 at Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

0 Following an excellent outing Tuesday night in which all three recorded points in the victory, the top line of Brad Moran, Alex Giroux and Colin McDonald were silenced tonight. In addition, they combined for a minus-three rating. 
23 Bulldogs goaltender Drew MacIntyre has frustrated Barons shooters throughout the series. Tonight, Oklahoma City got the better of him. On 27 shots, MacIntyre could only have an answer for 23. 
2 Each team has held serve, with the Barons and Bulldogs both coming away vicorious in their respective home games.

The Barons will have one more opportunity to make good on Cox Convention Center ice, with Game 5 Friday night in Oklahoma City.

Linus Omark
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +2 2

Mark Arcobello
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 3

Hunter Tremblay
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +2 4

Drew MacIntyre
27 23 4 58:54 .852

Martin Gerber
31 29 2 60:00 .935

For the second consecutive evening, Oklahoma City tallied the ice-breaker. An aggressive forecheck by Ben Ondrus and Chris VandeVelde contributed to a turnover in the Bulldogs' zone. CIS product and Barons rookie Hunter Tremblay pounced on the opportunity. With three Hamilton defenders trapped below the goal line, including a sprawling Brendan Nash, Tremblay had an open track to the net. One-on-one with Bulldogs netminder Drew MacIntyre, Tremblay made no mistake, sliding the puck through the wickets and putting the home side up 1-0 early; an unassisted marker despite the help of his teammates.

Linus Omark has been feeling his way back into the Barons lineup since being assigned to Oklahoma City following the conclusion of the season in Edmonton. Tonight, Omark emerged with a solid two-point performance (one goal, one assist), helping lead the Barons to a well-deserved 4-2 victory over Hamilton. In addition to recording an assist on the game-winning goal by Mark Arcobello, he sealed the outcome with a third period insurance marker at 11:16 as he banked the puck past MacIntyre to set the score 4-2.

Veteran defenceman Bryan Helmer continues to be a rock on the Barons blueline. With Colten Teubert out with an upper-body ailment, the need for others to step up was especially important. Helmer contributed all evening with pin-point breakout passes, excellent defensive positioning, as well as providing a spark in the attack up ice. Helmer concluded the game with one assist and a plus-two rating. His leadership ability has undoubtedly helped boost this young Barons squad to a series comeback.

Much like Tuesday's game in which Oklahoma City dominated the physical play early on, captain Ben Ondrus set the tone with an early crunch on Bulldogs forward Dustin Boyd. Following a chip in the neutral zone, Boyd was met by the shoulder of Ondrus, who powered through and leveled the speedy winger with a thundering check. For a second consecutive evening, the tone was set and the Barons were quick to respond. Hunter Tremblay opened the scoring only moments later.

At 19:34 of the second period, Mark Arcobello scored to put the Barons up 3-2. That tally was Oklahoma City's first power-play marker of the series, snapping an 0-18 skid with the man-advantage. The goal stood as the game-winner as the Barons fought to even the series 2-2 with Hamilton.

"I can't say enough about [the coaches]. They give me every opportunity and in all situations. As a new player coming in, you can't ask for more than that. At the same time, you try to earn your respect by keeping your mouth shout and doing your job as best you can -- and not screwing up for the boys."

- Barons rookie Hunter Tremblay following the 5-2 win.

Barons vs. Bulldogs - Game 5
Friday, April 22nd - 6pm MDT

Hamilton and Oklahoma City will continue the North Division Semi-Final series this Friday at Cox Convention Center. Game-time is 6:05pm MT.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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