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BARONS STUNNED BY LATE ROCKFORD GOAL; FALL 4-3 IN A SHOOTOUT

By Josh Evans, OKC Barons

The Oklahoma City Barons were stunned by a late goal from Rockford and eventually dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Ice Hogs. Taylor Fedun and Toni Rajala each had two points on the night to pace the Barons.

Despite only mustering 14 shots on goal in regulation, the Oklahoma City Barons looked poised to come away with the win. Toni Rajala scored the game’s opening goal with just under four minutes to play in the first period when he stole an attempted cross-ice pass, skated in and beat Rockford netminder Carter Hutton. It was Rajala’s eighth goal of the season.

The second period opened with Rockford tying the game at one when Terry Broadhurst found himself alone in the slot and sent one past Barons netminder Niko Hovinen.

Oklahoma City would re-take the lead with a short-handed goal at 11:28. Mark Arcobello picked the pocket of the Ice Hogs defenseman at the near blueline, skate the length of the ice and snapped a shot over the shoulder of Hutton. It was Arcobellos’ team-leading 17th of the season.

Rockford kept the pressure on and would tie the game at two just over two minutes later. A faceoff win by Ice Hogs centerman Martin St. Pierre to defenseman Shawn Lalonde resulted in another pass to Lalonde’s defensive partner Dan Olsen. Olsen fired the puck goalward and the shot was deflected by forward Ben Smith. The deflected shot bounded through Hovinen and trickled over the goal line.

Just as Rockford wasted no time tying the game, the Barons wasted no time re-taking the lead. Josh Green and Rajala teamed to find Taylor Fedun in close quarters near the net of Hutton. Fedun was able to chip the puck over the Rockford netminder for his third of the season.

The third period was dominated by the Ice Hogs as they held Oklahoma City to just one shot on goal in the frame. Rockford’s 10th and final shot of the period was the heartbreaker. With the goaltender pulled in favor of an extra attacker, Ice Hogs forward Brandon Pirri collected the puck on the halfboards and sent it to defenseman Adam Clendening who fired a shot that found its way through a maze of players and past Hovinen to tie the game at three with just two seconds to play.

After a scoreless overtime session, the teams went to a shootout to decide the contest. In the shootout, Mark Arcobello scored for the Barons, but Terry Broadhurst and Brad Mills scored for Rockford to give the Ice Hogs the 4-3 shootout win.

Niko Hovinen stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced for the Barons. He falls to 4-1-2 on the season.

These teams waste no time in returning to action as they battle again at the Cox Convention Center tomorrow night at 7 p.m. It’s a Saturday night and the Barons will give away a Ford F-150 from John Vance Motors as part of their Drive Away Every Saturday promotion.

boxscore:  http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1010722

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