The Oklahoma City Barons forced a fifth and deciding game of their first-round, Calder Cup playoff series with the Charlotte Checkers by scoring a playoff club record eight goals in an 8-1 win on Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.
The seven-goal margin of victory was also a team best, surpassing a 5-0 opening-round victory over Houston on April 19, 2012. Five had also been the time high, achieved on six occasions, for goals in a playoff contest. Game 5 is Saturday at 6 pm CDT at Charlotte. The teams have alternated wins in the series, splitting a pair of games in each building. Oklahoma City recorded the AHL's first eight-goal playoff game since Hamilton defeated Houston 8-1 on May 18, 2011.
Tyler Pitlick scored two goals, while Josh Green, Martin Marincin and Teemu Hartikainen each had a goal and two assists as 13 Barons recorded at least one point.
The Barons needed just 34 seconds to light the lamp in the first period, as Philippe Cornet tucked one past Rob Madore from the edge of the crease on a setup by Mark Acrobello. The Barons made it 2-0 on a Pitlick wrister from the right wing at 10:23. Chris VandeVelde advanced the score to 3-0 at 15:57 from the edge of the crease on a centering pass from Antti Tyrvainen. Oklahoma City out-shot Charlotte in the first period 14-11.
The Barons produced three more goals in the second period, two on the power play. Josh Green scored off a rush, beating Madore over the glove side at 5:27 on the man advantage and causing a goalie switch to Mike Murphy with the ledger reading 4-0. Madore stopped 13 of 17 shots in taking the loss. Anton Lander converted a Martin Marincin pass at 8:29 to make it 5-0. Marincin scored his first Calder Cup goal at 11:11 on the power play on a rebound to make it 6-0 after two, a period the Barons had 17 shots to the Checkers' 3.
Zach Boychuk spoiled Yann Danis' shutout bid at 3:52 of the third with a deke in deep, but the Barons responded with goals 40 seconds apart to conclude the scoring. Pitlick tipped a Taylor Fedun point shot at 9:08 on the power play, followed by a Hartikainen rebound goal at 9:48.
Oklahoma City went 3-for-5 on the power play, while Charlotte was 0-for-4. The Barons out-shot the Checkers 37-25, marking the first time in this series the winning team had out-shot the losing side. Danis stopped 24 of 25 shots in improving to 2-2 during the series.