For the second time in a week, Brandon Davidson scored a dramatic winning goal, this time slipping home a sudden-death tally 2:54 into overtime as the Oklahoma City Barons closed a 4-2 deficit to beat the Rochester Americans 5-4 at Blue Cross Arena.
Davidson, whose goal with 35.2 seconds left in regulation topped the San Antonio Rampage 6-5 one week ago, notched his third goal of the season in Sunday's contest, which upped the Barons' unbeaten string to six games (five wins and one shootout loss) and moved them to within two points of Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff position with 16 games remaining.
Oklahoma City, 28-24-1-7, improves to 5-1 in overtime while Rochester, 30-20-5-4, moves into sole possession of sixth place in the Western Conference with 69 points. The teams split the two-game season series.
The Barons scored the game's first two and last three goals, rallying with a pair of scores in the third period after Rochester had overcome an early 2-0 Oklahoma City lead with four unanswered goals.
Barons goaltender Richard Bachman (19-14-4) stopped 13 of 17 shots as the Amerks had the lowest shot output by a Barons opponent this season. Matt Hackett (13-16-2) stopped 27 of 32 shots.
Roman Horak led the Barons with one goal, three assists and a plus-4 rating. Mark Arcobello, who extended his club-record scoring streak to 12 games, had two assists and a plus-4. Arcobello has 24 points in 12 games with Oklahoma City.
Steve Pinizzotto, who was ejected for fighting in the second period, opened the scoring at 7:32 of the first on a tip in from the side of the crease, assisted by Taylor Fedun and Horak. The Barons made it 2-0 on a short-handed goal by Will Acton at 12:57 on setups by Fedun and David Musil. It was Acton's third shorthander of the season.
Rochester closed the gap to 2-1 after one period on a power-play goal by Colton Gillies at 13:37 on a back-hander in front.
Phil Varone tied the score 2-2 at 3:43 of the second on a breakaway pass from Nick Crawford. The Americans then scored a pair of two-man advantage goals 14 seconds apart at 2:53 and 13:07 to take a 4-2 lead while Pinizzotto and Davidson were penalized. Kevin Porter fired a high glove side wrist shot past Bachman to give the Amerks the lead, followed off the ensuing faceoff by Luke Adam's 26 of the season on a centering feed from Mike Zigomanis.
The Barons out-shot the Amerks 13-4 in the third period and tied the game within the first 7:49. Horak ripped a shot from the mid-slot at 6:30 with an assist to Arcobello. Brad Hunt tied the game at 7:49 on a point drive that found its way through, assisted by Horak.
In overtime, Arcobello gained the attacking zone, slipped the puck to Horak in the slot, who steered to Davidson alone at the edge of the crease for the winner.
The Barons return home to face the San Antonio Rampage on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (CDT) at the Cox Convention Center.