by Lisa McRitchie on 04/25/12 at 02:00 AM ET
It wasn’t a sweep, but the Oklahoma City Barons have made short work of their series with the Houston Aeros, taking the best of five series 3-1 and will now move on to the Western Conference semifinals to face an as of yet undetermined opponent. The San Antonio Rampage, Abbotsford Heat or Milwaukee Admirals are the possible opponents, but it will most likely be the Rampage that will make the trip to Oklahoma City.
The Barons easily took the first two games in Houston (because the Barons opted to play three home games at the back end of the series) but for their first home game were taken by surprise when Houston shut out the Barons and won 1-0. For their second home game the Barons won 5-2 in front of another small crowd of 1922. With success the team has had the attendance numbers are quite surprising and we can only hope they will improve with the advancement to the next round.
This series has seen the emergence of winger/centreman Tyler Pitlick who has 2 goals, 2 assists and a +3 ranking through the four games of playoffs. Of all of the Oilers’ prospects on the Baron’s team, it was Pitlick who made the biggest impact on the scoresheet. For Pitlick it could be the excitement of being able to play in the playoffs. Last year it was an ankle injury that kept Pitlick from playing with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL playoffs of his final year of junior hockey. And now, this is his first year of trying show the Oilers brass what he can do at the professional level. Pitlick has plenty of time and the organization seems high on him, but an impressive playoff run will only help bolster his stocks.
The series was also won due to the outstanding play of Yann Danis, goaltender of the year. Danis allowed only 4 goals for a save percentage of 0.947 and a GAA of 1.01. It is a shame that he never caught on in the NHL with numbers like that.
Should the Barons face the Rampage, the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers, this could be a very interesting series as the season series was an even split despite the Barons finishing 13 points ahead in the standings. Still the Barons were built to win and built for these playoffs. This team is ready.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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