PITLICK NETS GAME-WINNER IN OT TO LIFT BARONS PAST ROCKFORD
By George Darkow,
Tyler Pitlick scored the game-winning goal 46 seconds into the overtime period and Matthew Ford tallied two goals and two assists to lift the Oklahoma City Barons past the Rockford Ice Hogs, 5-4, Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.
After a faceoff in the Rockford zone left the puck loose near the Ice Hogs net, Pitlick gathered the puck and flipped a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Rockford goalie Jason LaBarbera to seal the victory for the Barons.
Oklahoma City’s Anton Lander collected two assists on the night, and Bobby Shea and Terry Broadhurst each scored twice for Rockford.
Shea opened the game’s scoring at 6:44 of the first period when, after a series of stops by Barons goalie Richard Bachman, Shea picked up a loose puck near the point and fired a slap shot through traffic and past Bachman for a 1-0 Rockford lead.
Broadhurst extended the Ice Hogs’ lead to 2-0 at 13:39 of the first, when he took an outlet pass from Mark McNeill near the red line and deked Barons defenseman Brad Hunt in the Barons zone before flipping a backhand shot over Bachman’s glove.
After a tripping call to Rockford’s Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Oklahoma City cut its deficit to 2-1, when Lander sent a cross-ice pass to Mark Arcobello, whose shot tipped off the stick of Ford and past LaBarbera at 16:44 of the first.
With coinciding roughing penalties assessed to Oklahoma City’s C.J. Stretch and Rockford’s Jeremy Morin at the end of the first period, the teams began the second in a 4-on-4 situation. Less than a minute into the period, a holding call to the Ice Hogs’ Adam Clendening gave the Barons a 4-on-3 advantage, and at 1:36 Arcobello received a pass from Ford inside the left circle and fired a wrister past LaBarbera to tie the game at two.
Rockford regained its lead quickly when, after successive saves by Bachman, T. Broadhurst picked up a loose puck near the Oklahoma City net and snuck it past the Barons net minder for a 3-2 lead at 2:24.
Later in the second period, the Barons evened the score at 3-3 when Ford corralled a loose puck following a drive to the Rockford net by Pitlick and chipped it past LaBarbera at 10:51.
Rockford took the lead again at 12:52 of the third, when Shea netted his second goal of the game after picking up a loose puck at the top of the right circle and blasting a slap shot past Bachman for a 4-3 Ice Hogs lead.
With 2:46 left in regulation and Rockford clinging to a one-goal lead, Ben Eager fired a wrist shot from the near boards that kicked off LaBarbera’s pads and into the back of the Rockford net to tie the game and eventually send it into overtime.
Pitclick’s goal tallied the win for Oklahoma City, which improved to 24-24-1-6 on the season, while the Ice Hogs dropped to 29-21-5-3.
The two teams meet again with a 7 p.m. faceoff Saturday night at the Cox Convention Center during Beach Party Night, with the first 2,000 fans receiving a Barons BBQ tool set. In addition, one lucky fan will drive away in a brand-new Volkswagen Jetta as part of the Barons’ Drive Away Every Saturday promotion.
Click here for the box score: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011921
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