The San Antonio Rampage set themselves up for a winning weekend by edging the Oklahoma City Barons 3-2 in a shootout on Friday, but the Barons bounced back with a 3-1 victory Saturday in OKC to gain a split in the weekend home-and-home series.
The clubs opened the weekend pair with Friday's tilt at the AT&T Center in front of 7.037 fans. Jacob Markstrom turned aside 34 shots and blunted all five Barons' shooters in the shootout to lead the Rampage to a 3-2 win. Anton Lander opened the scoring for Oklahoma City, notching a second period power-play goal with Eric Selleck in the penalty box serving a hooking minor. San Antonio finally got on the board at 7:29 of the third when Bobby Butler scored his sixth goal of the season. Butler's tally was assisted by Jared Gomes and Denny Urban. The Rampage seized the lead a few minutes later when Jon Matsumoto converted on a San Antonio power play. This time, Urban and Steve Pinizzotto collected the helpers. The Barons forged a tie late in the frame when Linus Omark struck with 1:27 remaining in regulation. Jared Gomes delivered in the first round of the shootout and Markstrom made it hold up, as San Antonio picked up win number ten on the season. NHL vet Jason LaBarbera made 43 saves in a fine losing effort for OKC.
The scene shifted to Oklahoma City's Cox Convention Center for Saturday's return match, which the Barons took by a 3-1 count. Matthew Ford scored late in the first period to give Oklahoma City the lead. Defenseman John Lee evened things up for the Rampage with an even-strength marker at 8:52 of the second frame. Bobby Butler and Eric Selleck combined to set up the goal. Anton Lander scored his ninth of the campaign early in the second to give the Barons a lead they would not relinquish. Ford deposited the puck into an empty-net for his second of the night with 3 seconds remaining to complete the scoring. Markstrom had another solid start, stopping 23 of 35 shots, but was tagged with the loss. Laurent Brossoit made 30 saves to post the win and was named the game's first star.
San Antonio is now 10-10-0-1 on the season and currently one point out of a playoff spot. They will host the Iowa Wild on Wednesday before heading north to Abbotsford for two games against the Heat this weekend.
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