Montrose twins Connor and Kellen Jones helped lift the Western Conference’s sixth seed Oklahoma City Barons to a three-game sweep of the third seed San Antonio Rampage on Wednesday with a 2-1 overtime victory in the best-of-five American Hockey League (AHL) series.
Kellen scored his first goal of the playoff to give the Barons an early 1-0 lead, and the goal almost stood up as the winner until San Antonio forward Dylan Olsen beat Barons’ goalie Richard Bachman with 59 seconds remaining in regulation.
However, former Prince George Spruce King Jujhar Khaira banged home a rebound 5:01 into overtime to propel Oklahoma City into the second round.
The victory Wednesday was the Barons’ 16th overtime win of the season and finished off a three-game sweep of the Rampage, who finished first in the AHL’s West Division, while OKC placed third in the 2014-15 season.
The OT winner came on a Barons’ rush, Mitch Moroz found Matthew Ford with room in the slot, but Ford’s shot from in close went wide and found the end glass. A lively ricochet went to the rookie Khaira stationed at the near post, and he tucked it in before Dan Ellis could get across.
In Game 2, the Barons came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie it with 36 seconds left in the third period and force overtime.
This time Connor Jones would play hero, taking a pass from Ford and beating the Rampage goalie between the legs to complete the comeback, giving the Barons a thrilling 4-3 OT victory.
“In overtime, I don’t even think I yelled for it – I didn’t want to scare him (Ford), but he just put it on my tape, and I had it in my head I was going five hole, so thankfully it went in,” said Connor Jones in a post-game interview with Baron’s TV.
Connor also scored in the opening match, a 5-2 OKC victory.
Who the Barons will play in the best-of-seven second round series is still to be determined.
In the other Western Conference series, the Rockford IceHogs beat out last year’s Calder Cup champion Texas Stars in three straight, while Utica Comets lead the Chicago Wolves 2-1, and Toronto Marlies are up on the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-1.
The schedule for Round 2 will be released at the conclusion of the AHL Round 1 series.