By George Darkow, OKC Barons on 01/17/2014

Phil Varone registered a goal and an assist as the Rochester Americans handed the Oklahoma City Barons their third consecutive loss Friday night at the Cox Convention Center by a score of 4-3.

Varone's assist gave the Americans their first lead of the night, when late in the third period, the Barons found themselves on the wrong side of a 5-on-3 power play after a high-sticking double-minor call to Tyler Pitlick at 12:28 and a controversial goaltender interference call was assessed to Matthew Ford on a breakaway chance for the Barons winger at 13:14. One minute, ten seconds later, Varone sent a pass through the Barons crease, where a waiting Jamie Tardif jammed the puck into the back side of the net.

Rochester scored the game's decisive goal while still on the power play at 16:12, when Colton Gillies deflected a Nick Crawford shot from the right circle past Barons goaltender Richard Bachman, giving the Americans a 4-3 lead they never relinquished.

Oklahoma City got on the board early in the first period when, after a delay of game penalty to Rochester's Crawford at 3:24 and a high-sticking penalty to Oklahoma City's C.J. Stretch at 3:53 created a 4-on-4 situation, Roman Horak rifled a slap shot from the left circle that snuck past Rochester goalie Matt Hackett's stick side at 4:25, giving the Barons a 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Rochester answered with three seconds remaining on the aforementioned Stretch penalty, as Luke Adam sent a pass to the low slot, where Varone beat Bachman to the opposite side of the net, tying the score at one goal apiece at 5:50.

Oklahoma City soon regained the lead, however, when Anton Lander skidded a shot along the ice that slid under a leaping Ryan Hamilton before sneaking through the legs of Hackett to give the Barons a 2-1 lead at 9:01. The power play goal came after a holding penalty was assessed to Varone at 7:15.

Rochester evened the score again at 6:13 in the second, when Tardif fired a shot off Bachman's pads that redirected to the Barons slot, where a speeding Dan Catenacci chipped the rebound past a sprawling Bachman.

Tardif's goal gave the Americans a 3-2 lead, and Gillies deflection made the score 4-2.

The Barons narrowed the score to 4-3 at 18:15 in the third when Horak sent a cross-ice pass to Pitlick who unleashed a slap shot from the left circle that sailed past Hackett.

The Barons are back in action at 7:00 pm Saturday night at the Cox Convention Center, when they face the Milwaukee Admirals. The first 2,000 fans will receive a limited-edition Todd Nelson bobble-head doll, and one lucky fan will drive away in a brand new Jeep Cherokee Sport. 

Click here for the box score:

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