Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Flames were defeated 5-4 by the Oklahoma City Barons on Friday in a wild, back and forth overtime contest at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Despite the loss, in which the Flames earned one point in the standings against the Western Conference leading Barons, AHL rookie All-Star Emile Poirier scored twice, including the game tying goal midway through the third period. Sven Baertschi and John Ramage also scored for Adirondack, while Bill Arnold, David Wolf, Ben Hanowski, and Tyler Wotherspoon all added assists on the evening. Brad Thiessen made 32 saves between the pipes for the Flames in the losing effort.
The Barons came out firing right out of the gate, as they jumped out to an early two goal lead less than 10 minutes into the contest.
First it was Ryan Hamilton who netted his 15th goal of the season off a behind the back pass from Andrew Miller. Hamilton found himself with a wide open net, which he did not miss to put Oklahoma City on the board at 3:43 of the opening frame. Brad Hunt earned the secondary assist on the tally, which came on the power play.
Iiro Pakarinen doubled the lead for Oklahoma City at 9:58 of the period, when he buried the rebound from a Joshua Winquist shot. Winquist entered the zone, and threw a shot on goal which Adirondack netminder Brad Thiessen made the initial save on, however the rebound landed right on Pakarinen’s stick between the circles and finished the play with ease to put the Barons up by two.
The Flames pulled within one before the buzzer sounded to end the first period, as Baertschi registered his fifth goal of the season at the 15:02 mark. The Swiss forward dropped the puck off to Poirier, who slid it across to Arnold. The Massachusetts native then threaded the needle to find a breaking Baertschi all alone in front of Oklahoma City’s netminder Laurent Brossoit. Baertschi took Arnold’s pass in stride, went to his backhand, and beat Brossoit up high to cut the Oklahoma City deficit to one.
The second period began with the Barons clinging to a one goal lead, but the Flames quickly knotted the score at two just 3:59 into the middle stanza. Baertschi fired a shot on the Barons’ net and after Brossoit made the initial save, Poirier found the loose puck on the doorstep, and put it behind the Oklahoma City netminder. The goal for Poirier was his 11th of the campaign and Baertschi was credited with the lone assist.
Approximately 14 minutes after the Flames tied the game, they earned their first lead of the evening as Ramage registered the first goal of his AHL career. Wolf rushed up along the right-hand wing, made a move around the Oklahoma City defense, and centered the puck right to Ramage, who ripped a shot from point blank and beat Brossoit to put the Flames ahead 3-2. The goal for Ramage came at 17:53 of the second, and was assisted by Wolf and Hanowski.
The Adirondack lead was short lived, however, as the Barons tied the game at three. Following successive slashing penalties from both Poirier and Corey Potter, the Barons found themselves with a lengthy two-man advantage.
At 19:21, still with the five-on-three advantage, Andrew Miller took advantage of a lively bounce off the boards behind Thiessen, as the puck came right to the Oklahoma City forward following a one-time blast from Brad Hunt. Miller’s shot off the rebound beat Thiessen blocker side. Jason Williams earned the secondary assist on the Barons power play goal, which was Miller’s sixth tally of the season.
The scoring was not finished for the second, however, as the Barons added yet another power play goal with just 16 seconds remaining in the middle period. Joshua Winquist, who earned an assist earlier in the game, collected a goal of his own when he put home a one-timer from the top of the right circle off of a feed from Jordan Oesterle. The goal, which was his third of the season, was assisted by Oesterle and Pinizzotto.
Trailing by one heading into the final period, the Flames finally notched the tying tally at 9:59 of the third as Poirier netted his second of the game and 12th of the season, which tied him for the team lead. Baertschi chased down the puck in the left corner of the offensive zone and dropped the puck off to Wotherspoon, who skated the puck down low and centered it across to Poirier. The AHL rookie quickly teed up the puck, and put it past Brossoit to knot the score at four.
While Poirier’s tying tally was enough to earn the Flames a point against the Barons, and force the game to overtime, just 71 seconds into the extra frame the Barons would end the game. Miller netted his second goal of the evening to win it for Oklahoma City, as he took advantage of an Adirondack turnover and wristed a shot past Thiessen to end the contest. Miller’s game winning goal was unassisted.
The Flames return to action tomorrow in Utica to face their North Division foes. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The Flames don’t return home to the Civic Center until next Saturday, when the Milwaukee Admirals will come to town for a 7:00 p.m. tilt. In addition to being Hockey Night in Glens Falls, next Saturday’s matchup against Milwaukee is also “Pink in the Rink.” For more information on that, visit Adirondackflames.com. Tickets are still available for that contest, and all remaining Flames’ home games. Visit the Flames box office, call 518-480-3355, or order online at glensfallscc.com.
Adirondack Flames Hockey • Fired Up