Matt Ford had two goals and an assist and Richard Bachman won his first game in net since Dec. 16 as the Oklahoma City Barons completed a two-game sweep of the Lake Erie Monsters with a 5-2 victory Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The win was Oklahoma City's seventh straight and ninth in its last 10 games.
Ford's two-goal game was his second of the year, coming exactly three weeks from his last two-goal performance in the Barons' 3-2 win over Grand Rapids on Dec. 13.
On the Barons' first score of the game at 4:14 of the first period, Ford set up Jason Williams with a pass from behind the goal line that Williams was able to knock past Lake Erie goalie Calvin Pickard from right in front of the Monsters net.
With the Barons on the power play at 12:32 of the first, it was Williams setting up Ford with a pass through the slot that Ford was able to chip into the open side of the Monsters net for an early 2-0 Oklahoma City lead.
Ford's second goal came just 1:19 into the third period when he sent a long shot from just inside the Monsters blue line that Calvin Pickard couldn't corral for the Barons' fifth goal of the night.
Richard Bachman stopped 33 shots in his first action since leaving with an injury in the third period of the Barons' Dec. 16 win at Charlotte.
After the Barons' first two goals by Williams and Ford, Bogdan Yakimov extended Oklahoma City's lead to 3-0 at 4:07 of the second period when he tipped a long shot by Iiro Pakarinen, redirecting the puck over Pickard's glove-side shoulder.
Like Ford and Williams a period earlier, Pakarinen and Yakimov traded roles in scoring the Barons' fourth goal of the game. At 13:09 of the second, Yakimov sent a pass from the right boards that found Pakarinen in the Lake Erie slot where Pakarinen fired a wrist shot that sailed past Pickard, making the score 4-0 in favor of Oklahoma City.
At 19:30 of the second, Lake Erie's Trevor Cheek scored his second goal in as many games when he carried the puck into the Barons zone and deked around a defending Curtis Hamilton before firing a shot past Bachman to cut Oklahoma City's lead to 4-1.
After Ford's second goal of the game gave the Barons a 5-1 lead in the third period, Mitchell Heard added a goal at 17:14 of the third that made the score 5-2.
With the win, the Barons improved to 23-7-2-2 on the season and took sole possession of first place in the AHL's Western Conference with 50 standings points.
The Barons' next game is Tuesday, Jan. 6, when they return home to face the Texas Stars in a 7 p.m. start at the Cox Convention Center.