The game story for the OKC Barons’ victory is below…. but the LIFE story is in the group of friends, media professionals visiting from Dhaka, Bangladesh, who attended their first professional ice hockey game tonight at Cox Convention Center. Not only are these the most generous, thoughtful and real people I have come to know, they were equally enthusiastic, energetic and at home at the hockey rink as any of the Okies in attendance.
Thanks to all the folks who made it possible, including my friend Gary Desjardins.
I’ll link some more photos in the future once they send them to me, but for now there they are – right in the middle of the crowd.
Here’s the press release from the game.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Barons withstood a third period onslaught to down the Abbotsford Heat, 4-3, Friday evening at the Cox Convention Center. The Heat out-shot the Barons 22-4 in the third period, 44-28 for the game, but solid goaltending from Richard Bachman and two goals from Linus Omark led to the Barons’ second home ice victory of the year. Oklahoma City moves to 3-3-0-0 on the year, while the Heat fell to 2-2-0-1.
Oklahoma City took a 1-0 lead at 4:03 of the first period when Omark’s backhander got past Abbotsford goaltender Reto Berra. Tyler Pitlick and Anton Lander earned the assists on Omark’s first goal.
Oklahoma City had its first of three power play opportunities at 15:33 when the Heat were called for too many men on the ice. Philip Larsen had a shot hit off the post with the man advantage but a pass from Larsen to Pitlick resulted in Omark’s second goal of the game at 16:30. The power play goal gave Oklahoma City a 2-0 lead as the teams were tied with 10 shots apiece at the end of the second.
Oklahoma City went back on the power play 14 seconds into the second period as Carter Bancks was called for high-sticking. On the ensuing power play, Omark and Lander added more points on Derek Nesbitt’s third goal of the year. The Barons extended the lead to 4-0 at 4:32 when Lander found the back of the net for his second of the year.
Bachman’s bid for the shutout ended at 7:45 when Ben Hanowski scored to cut the Oklahoma City lead to 4-1. The Barons led 24-22 in shots on goal after two periods of play.
Abbotsford brought the pressure in the third period as the Heat managed to out-shoot the Barons 22-4 in the period. Roman Horak scored on the Heat’s first power play of the night to cut the lead in half, and Brett Olson trimmed the lead to 4-3 at 7:36.
Bachman and the Barons played tough defense for the remainder of the game en route to the 4-3 win. Omark earned the game’s first star honors, while Lander and Bachman were named the second and third stars, respectively.
The two teams faceoff again Saturday evening at 7 p.m. CT at the Cox Convention Center. One lucky Barons fan will drive away in a 2013 Dodge Avenger during the Drive Away Every Saturday promotion.