Saturday, November 03, 2012

Hall and Eberle combine for three goals in Barons win

Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall has always been a player that generally finds a way to make an impact in every game he plays. Not surprisingly, Hall did exactly that in his AHL debut, scoring on his opening shift of the game and later being assessed a match penalty, for a crushing hit he delivered late in the third period. Jordan Eberle had a pair of goals, including the winner, and Justin Schultz picked up yet another assist, leading the Oklahoma City Barons to a 4-3 victory over the Houston Aeros.

With all the hype surrounding the former first overall selection heading into Friday night's action, it would take the man wearing #22 all of thirty-eight seconds, to score his first American Hockey League goal. Hall tipped home Colten Teubert's perfectly placed point shot, past netminder Darcy Kuemper, to give the Barons an early lead. Not too bad a start for a guy that hasn't played a game in seven and a half months.

Less than a minute later, Eberle would make it 2-0, firing home his third of the season, courtesy of a wonderful feed from Mark Arcobello. With the Barons playing three game in three night's, head coach Todd Nelson decided to sit Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Friday night, giving Arcobello the opportunity of playing in between Eberle and Teemu Hartikainen.

To the Aeros credit, they rebounded nicely after a tough start and carried the play for much of the opening forty minutes but were unable to get one of their twenty-one shots on goal, behind Oklahoma's Yann Danis. The veteran puck stopper turned away chance after chance, with a glove stop off Brian Connelly being the best of the bunch.

Hartikainen would give the Barons a three goal cushion heading into the third, banging home his third of year, from a terrible angle. It was a goal that Kuemper would love to have back and one that looked to all but seal the Aeros fate.

Unfortunately for Oklahoma, Houston were not about to just throw in the towel, as they continued to pepper Danis in the final twenty minutes of play and were rewarded in a big way for their efforts. Mikael Granlund would break the goose egg, banging home a rebound for his fourth of the season at the 3:46 mark. Less than a minute later, Johan Larrson would cut the lead to one, sending his second of the season behind Danis.

Just under seven minutes later, the comeback would be complete, as Charlie Coyle redirected his sixth of season past the suddenly leaking OKC netminder. However, the deadlock would not last long, as the Barons would regain their lead, courtesy of Mr. Eberle.

After gaining possession in the Houston zone, the Barons moved the puck on a string before a pinching Justin Schultz found a streaking and wide open Eberle, who made no mistake in burying his fourth of the season. The assist was the young  blueliners only point of the night but kept his point streak alive at eight games.Arcobello also picked up an assist on the winner, giving him a three point night.

Less than a minute later, Hall would see his night come to an early end, after delivering a crushing check on defenecman Jonas Brodin, that was deemed to be a hit to the head. While the check appeared to be shoulder on shoulder and may have resulted in a broken collarbone for Brodin, Hall was still assessed a Match Penalty and put the Barons behind the eight-ball for the remainder of the game. Fortunately, Danis returned to his wall like form of the opening forty minutes and held the fort to secure the victory.

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