OKLAHOMA CITY — Four consecutive goals and 29 saves from goalie Jeremy Smith led the Milwaukee Admirals to a 5-3 win over the Oklahoma City Barons Friday in Oklahoma City, OK.
The Barons outshot Milwaukee 10-3 in the third period, but Smith stood tall in stopping nine. The Admirals penalty kill also played well, killing five of six against the high-powered Barons.
The Barons claimed a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 6:15 of the first period. Ryan Keller fired the puck from the left corner to a wide open Linus Omark in front of the net. Omark deked to the backhand to put the puck into the net.
Oklahoma City grabbed a 2-0 lead when Hunter Tremblay intercepted a Smith clearing attempt. He found Tyler Pitlick for a one-timer in the slot for the goal at 9:18 of the first period.
The Admirals tied the game at 17:59 of the first period. Joel Champagne forced a turnover behind the Barons net and the puck made its way into the slot where Kyle Wilson grabbed it and shot into the back of the net for his 14th goal of the season.
Just 30 seconds later, Milwaukee’s Ryan Thang was credited with the tying goal. Thang tripped a Barons player and was headed to the penalty box. However, the Admirals didn’t touch the puck to stop the play. A pass from behind the Barons net bounced off an Oklahoma City defender and into the net for an unassisted goal for Thang, his 13th of the season.
The Admirals took the lead at 5:07 of the second period as Tyler Sloan scored his first goal as an Admiral. Taylor Beck sent the puck from the right wing corner to Chris Mueller in the left. Mueller found Sloan moving to the net and Sloan buried the goal, his first AHL goal since Feb. 6, 2009 when he scored the game-winner in Hershey’s 5-3 win at Philadelphia.
Milwaukee stretched the lead to two goals at 16:19 of the second period when Ben Ryan planted his second goal of the season. A clearing attempt by the Barons was knocked down above the left circle by Kevin Henderson and bounced to Ryan at the crease. His backhander eluded Yann Danis and gave the Admirals the 4-2 advantage.
The Barons made it 4-3 at when Teemu Hartikainen tapped in a rebound of a Taylor Chorney shot at 7:08 of the third period.
Jani Lajunen scored an empty net goal with 9.8 seconds to play with an assist from Thang to close the scoring.
The Admirals have won both contests this season against the Barons, the team with the best record in the AHL.
The Admirals and Barons faceoff in Oklahoma City again Saturday night at 7 pm. Milwaukee returns to the Bradley Center Friday, Feb. 24 to host Abbotsford at 7 pm.