HAMILTON'S LATE GOAL GIVES BARONS 6-4 WIN AGAINST CHARLOTTE
By George Darkow,
Curtis Hamilton scored the game-winning goal with 34.2 seconds left, and Roman Horak had a goal and two assists as the Oklahoma City Barons downed the Charlotte Checkers 6-4 Sunday at the Cox Convention Center.
After Charlotte scored three unanswered goals to climb back from a 4-1 deficit, Hamilton scored the eventual game-winner for Oklahoma City after he received a Taylor Fedun pass near the Checkers’ slot on a 3-on-2 rush and rifled it past Charlotte goalie John Muse.
With the win, Oklahoma City gained two points in the standings and moved ahead of Rockford and Charlotte and into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with the Rochester Americans.
Four of Oklahoma City’s six goals came in the second period, as the Barons set a franchise record with 27 shots on goal in the period, breaking a previous franchise best of 22 set on March 25, 2012 against Grand Rapids. The Barons’ 27 shots were also the most in an AHL period since the Adirondack Phantoms tallied 29 in the first period of a game on Feb. 25, 2012.
Charlotte struck first on the afternoon, taking a 1-0 lead at 7:27 of the first period when Philippe Cornet and Zach Boychuk connected on 2-on-1 rush. Near the Barons net, Cornet glided a pass through the crease to Boychuk who snuck the puck behind Oklahoma City goalie Richard Bachman.
After being shutout in the first period, Oklahoma City evened the score early in the second period with a 5-on-3 power play opportunity created by late first period penalties to Charlotte’s Matthew Corrente and Chris Terry. Thirty-four seconds into the period, Horak sent a pass to Matthew Ford, who chipped the puck past Muse, tying the game at one goal apiece.
Thirty-one seconds later, with the Barons then on a 5-on-4 power play, Andrew Miller sent a shot towards the net from the left circle that hit off the crossbar and landed in the back of the Checkers’ net, giving Oklahoma City a 2-1 lead.
Oklahoma City added two more goals in the second period, the first of which came when Martin Gernat sent a cross-ice pass to a wide open Horak, who buried a shot into the back of the Charlotte net at the 11:02 mark.
Fedun scored at the 14:18 mark of the second to give the Barons a commanding 4-1 lead, but with 1:25 left in the frame, Boychuk scored his second goal for Charlotte, cutting the Barons’ lead to 4-2.
In the third period, Charlotte tied the score at four with goals by Mark Flood at the 1:10 mark and Justin Shugg at 11:00.
After Hamilton’s go-ahead goal late in the third, Brandon Davidson scored an empty-netter at 19:48 to give the Barons a 6-4 lead.
The Barons’ next game is at 9:00 p.m. CST, Friday, April 11 in Abbottsford, B.C., when they play the first of a two-game series against the Heat.
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