The Oklahoma City Barons scored three goals in each of the first two periods en route to a 7-3 win over the Charlotte Checkers Friday night at the Cox Convention Center. Jonathan Cheechoo tied a franchise record with five points (1-4-5), while Philippe Cornet and Mark Arcobello each had four points (2-2-4).
The Checkers got on the board first on a power-play goal after Magnus Paajarvi was sent off for holding. Brett Sutter scored for Charlotte off of a scramble in front of the Barons net at 7:39 of the first with assists to Justin Shugg and Chris Terry.
The Barons answered just over a minute later, to make it 1-1, on a breakaway goal by Philippe Cornet from Jonathan Cheechoo at 8:25 of the first period.
Charlotte didn't wait long to regain their one-goal advantage, making it 2-1, as Luke Pither put one past Barons starter Niko Hovinen at 9:35 of the period with assists to Terry and Justin Krueger.
The Barons once again answered with a goal of their own to tie it 2-2. Mark Arcobello scored after Cheechoo walked past a Checkers defender and slid the puck across to an open Arcobello. The goal came at 15:02 of the back-and-forth opening frame with the second assist credited to Cornet.
Oklahoma City was able to capitalize on a penalty by Justin Shugg late in the period to take a 3-2 lead when Cornet scored his second goal of the night. A point shot from Brett Clark deflected off of Cheechoo and eventually off of Cornet. The Barons took a 3-2 lead to the locker room after the first period. Oklahoma City outshot Charlotte 18-8 in the period.
The middle frame opened with physical play, including a tussle between Colten Teubert and Brett Bellemore at 2:40 of the period. Teubert and Bellemore were each assessed five minutes for fighting, but Charlotte ended up with two additional minor penalties, resulting in a 5-on-3 power play for the Barons.
Oklahoma City struck quickly on the two-man advantage. Cheechoo scored his first as a Baron, snapping home a shot from the deep slot. That goal chased starter Justin Peters from the goal.
Tony Rajala made it 5-2 Oklahoma City at 8:38 of the period with assists to Arcobello and Martin Marincin. Chris VandeVelde scored for the Barons less than a minute later from Kristians Pelss and Andrew Hotham at 9:30 to make it 6-2 Oklahoma City.
Charlotte got on the board before the end of the period on the power play after Alex Plante was charged for holding. Terry scored the Checkers goal from Marc-Andre Gragnani and Pither.
After two periods Oklahoma City led 6-3 and led in shots 30-21.
Mark Arcobello increased the Oklahoma City lead to 7-3 at 8:19 of the third period with assists to Cornet and Cheechoo. Cheechoo's five points tied a franchise record for points in a game held by Linus Omark, Alex Giroux and Jordan Eberle.
Goaltender Niko Hovinen made his first AHL start for the Barons after being picked up off of waivers by Edmonton on January 25. He made 28 saves. Justin Peters was charged with the loss for Charlotte, stopping 17 of the 21 shots he faced. John Muse made 13 saves in 36 minutes of relief work.