The Oklahoma City Barons dropped a 3-2 decision to the Houston Aeros Friday night at the Cox Convention Center. The Aeros (33-22-4-4) took a 3-1 lead in the third and held on to down the Barons (29-23-2-7).
Mark Arcobello had a scoring opportunity taken away from Houston goaltender Darcy Kuemper while the Barons were on the first power play of the evening. Philippe Cornet almost got a chance but Kuemper knocked the puck off his stick before Cornet was able to get a shot off.
The Aeros took a 1-0 lead at the 11:08 mark of the period as Dan DaSilva tipped in a centering pass from Justin Fontaine. The Barons answered seconds later at 11:25 as C.J. Stretch scored his fourth of the year. Stretch backhanded the puck past Kuemper at the side of the net on a pass from Nathan Deck. Josh Green earned the secondary assist on the goal.
Oklahoma City led in shots 9-6 at the end of the first period.
Houston took the shots lead in the second period, leading 21-14 after 40 minutes of play. The Aeros also took the lead on the scoreboard thank to a point shot by Ryley Grantham that was put in the net behind Yann Danis by Brian Connelly at 10:09.
Stretch almost had his second goal of the game as he beat Kuemper stick side but hit the post. Jonathan Cheechoo came close to tying the game but his backhanded shot just went wide as he was hooked on the play.
Houston extended the lead to 3-1 at the 2:05 mark of the third period as Mikael Granlund curled the puck past Danis.
Oklahoma City put the pressure on late, closing the shots gap. The Barons' persistence paid off in a big way at the 14:23 mark as Dane Byers scored his sixth goal of the season while Oklahoma City was on the power play following a scrum in from of Kuemper. Oklahoma City had Kuemper stretched on the ice and continued to hack at the puck before Byers was able to cut the lead to one.
Despite the rally, the Barons came up just short, dropping the 3-2 decision to the Aeros. The Barons managed to close the shots gap to 27-25 in favor of the Aeros.
The Barons return to action Saturday night on the road against the San Antonio Rampage at 7 p.m. The Barons' next home game is April 2 against the Hamilton Bulldogs.