Curtis Hamilton scored a dramatic, late goal for the second consecutive Sunday, tying the game 4-4 with 2:07 left, as the Oklahoma City Barons rallied for a 5-4 shootout win over the Abbotsford Heat on Sunday at the Entertainment & Sports Centre.
The Barons, 34-28-2-9, move into sole possession of the eighth and final Calder Cup playoff spot with 79 points with three home games remaining starting Wednesday at 7 pm CDT against the Texas Stars. The Heat, 40-25-5-3, saw a three-game winning snapped in a contest they never trailed until the end of the shootout.
Hamilton tied the game 4-4 on a long-range wrist shot that beat rookie Doug Carr, in his first professional start, on the glove side at 17:53 of the third. Will Acton earned the assist. Hamilton won last Sunday's game over the Charlotte Checkers with a go-ahead goal with 34.2 seconds left.
Oklahoma City scored three of the game's final four goals and tallied twice in the third period despite putting only four shots on net. Abbotsford out-shot the Barons 37-27. Richard Bachman earned the win in net with 33 saves, including four of five in the shootout, to improve to 25-18-6. Oklahoma City has won two shootouts in a row and is 3-9 this season in the tiebreaker. C.J. Stretch and Anton Lander scored for the Barons, while Blair Jones had the lone shootout goal for the Heat, who fell to 5-3 in shootouts.
The Heat scored first for the second straight game. Brett Olson, who also tallied the first goal in the Heat's 3-2 win over the Barons on Friday, picked up a rebound on a power play at 10:45 and back-handed it past Richard Bachman.
The teams each scored twice in the second period. Austin Fyten deflected a Brad Hunt point shot to tie the game 1-1 at 5:56 of the second. Brett Kulak, a rookie fresh out of the Western Hockey League, put the Heat back on top 2-1 when he came down from the point, received a pass from Ben Hanowski and slipped it into a partially-open net at 7:44.
Abbotsford built a two-goal lead, 3-1 at 14:31 when Ben Street, their leading goal scorer with 28, put in a rebound after Bachman had stopped a shot by Derek Smith. Oklahoma City answered on the power play at 17:21. Roman Horak, who scored last night for the Edmonton Oilers, snapped home a shot from between the circles on assists from Steve Pinizzotto and Anton Lander.
The Barons drew even 3-3 at6:10 of the third period when Oscar Klefbom fired a shot from the point and it ricocheted to Fyten for his second of the game.
Abbotsford regained the lead at 8:27 when Max Reinhart converted a centering pass from Street on the power play. The Heat were 2-for-4 on the man advantage while the Barons went 1-for-3.
The Barons finish their road schedule 13-17-1-7. They host Texas on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CDT at the Cox Convention Center and the Iowa Wild on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.