BARONS RALLY, BUT FALL IN SHOOTOUT 4-3
By Jim Byers,
The Oklahoma City Barons rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime and eventually a shootout, but the Utica Comets scored two goals to the Barons’ one in the tiebreaker to record a 4-3 win on Wednesday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
The shootout defeat halts the Barons’ three-game winning streak and allows Utica to gain a split of the two-game season series. Oklahoma City gets one standing point to move within two points (62-60) of Milwaukee for the eighth and final Calder Cup playoff position.
Mark Arcobello, the reigning CCM/AHL Player of the Week, earned one assist to extend his point streak to 10 games, matching the club record set by Alex Giroux and later equaled by Josh Green and Justin Schultz.
Oklahoma City drops to 26-24-1-6, while Utica improves to 24-26-3-4. The Barons are 1-7 in shootouts.
The Comets scored the only goal of the first period. Colin Stuart drove to the net and re-directed a Jeremy Welsh centering pass at 15:52. Oklahoma City out-shot Utica in the opening period 9-5.
The teams traded goals in the second period. Oklahoma City’s Austin Fyten tied the score 1-1 on a deflection in front, with assists to Martin Gernat and Anton Lander. Utica regained the lead at 18:59 when Alex Friesen put home a rebound after Richard Bachman made a save on a Kellan Lain rebound try.
Pascal Pelletier put the Comets in front 3-1 on the power play 2:41 into the third on a rebound, but the Barons countered with a goal by Steve Pinizzotto on a slap shot from the left-wing circle at 8:26 on assists by Tyler Pitlick and Gernat. Jack Combs tied the game 3-3 at 15:50, converting setups from Roman Horak and Arcobello.
In the shootout, Combs scored for the Barons in Round 1, followed by Pelletier tallying in the bottom of the first. Nicklas Jensen scored the decisive goal in the bottom of the third on a nifty move.
Bachman falls to 17-14-4, while Joacim Eriksson improves to 18-17-2. Oklahoma City out-shot Utica 35-34.
The Barons’ three-game trip continues on Friday against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Game time in 6:30 pm CST.
Photo credit: Lindsay A. Mogle/Utica Comets
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