AHL

Lander scores SO winner as Barons rally to beat Heat

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The Canadian Press
4/13/2014 7:24:21 PM
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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Sometimes all it takes is a couple of lucky bounces.

Austin Fyten can attest to that.

The Oklahoma City forward picked up his first career two-goal game Sunday afternoon as the Barons came back to beat the Abbotsford Heat 5-4 in a shootout in American Hockey League action.

Fyten hadn't scored in 14 games but the 23-year-old tied the game twice with redirections in the comeback win.

"I've been playing a lot and pretty well but things weren't going my way, as far as bounces and stuff," said Fyten. "Tonight is one of those nights. I didn't even shoot it in — both goals went off my body.

"If you play the right way good things will happen. I was pleased to get those — huge win for the boys."

The two goals Sunday were just the fifth and sixth of the year for the Sundre, Alta. native.

"He's been great for us lately," said Oklahoma City's Roman Horak. "He's not afraid to go to the front of the net and do the dirty work and it pays off. He got two goals and that was a huge help from him tonight."

Anton Lander scored the shootout winner, beating goalie Doug Carr low to the stick side before Barons goaltender Richard Bachman stopped Max Reinhart to clinch the win.

The Barons never led in the game and needed Curtis Hamilton to tie it with just over two minutes to play in the third.

"It was tough," said Fyten. "We were behind the eight ball all night. We stayed with the game plan and battled back. We got a couple greasy goals, and then Hammy stepped up with a big goal.

"We wanted it and just kept pushing and pushing. We deserved that one."

Former heat forward Horak also scored for Oklahoma City (34-28-11), which maintained the final Western Conference playoff berth, with Charlotte and Rockford now both two points back.

"It's definitely one of those things where you watch who's winning and not winning," said Fyten. "Both the teams helped us out tonight with a couple losses. But it's going to come down to the bitter end. We need to keep winning games and finish strong."

Bachman, who has started 27 of the Barons' last 30 games, made 33 saves.

"He's been keeping us in games," said Horak of Bachman. "Especially if we make the playoffs, we're going to be betting on him a lot."

Added Fyten: "We gave up too many shots tonight, too many PKs and stuff. But he's our most valuable player for sure. He's been unreal for us and hopefully he can keep with it and help us down the stretch."

In the other crease, Carr was making his first AHL appearance, stopping 22 shots for Abbotsford (40-25-8).

"He made some huge saves," said Heat head coach Troy Ward, who gave team MVP Joni Ortio the day off. "I thought the last one there he wants back, the tying goal. But he's adjusting to a higher level, the release is quicker . . . but I thought he did a nice job for us today."

Brett Kulak recorded his first career AHL goal, while Ben Street, Brett Olson and Reinhart also scored for the Heat, who have clinched a playoff spot but ended their chances of catching Chicago for fourth place.

Lander tested Carr early, stealing the puck in the slot, but the Heat netminder made a nifty glove save to keep the game scoreless.

Olson opened the scoring at 10:45 on the power play. Derek Smith's point shot ricocheted off Sven Baertschi's skate right to Olson at the side of the net and he quickly backhanded it past Bachman for his 17th of the year.

Fyten tied the game at 5:56 of the second period, redirecting Brad Hunt's point shot.

But Kulak put the Heat back in the lead a little more than two minutes later. Ben Hanowski, playing his first game since being reassigned by Calgary, made a great play, drawing Bachman to the left right post before setting up Kulak's one-timer from the hash marks.

"I didn't know (Hanowski) saw me back there, but he threw a really nice pass — I guess that's why he's been in the NHL for the past month," said Kulak. "He made it really easy for me to just tap it in there. Obviously I can't enjoy it as much as I would have if we won the game, but it's still a special feeling."

Street's team-leading 28th of the season doubled the lead at 14:31. Smith blocked a clearing attempt at the blue-line and quickly put a shot on net, where Street deflected it past the left pad of Bachman.

Horak drew the Barons back within one with a power-play goal at 17:21. First he drew a tripping penalty when he was hauled down by Smith on a partial breakaway. Then he scored his 22nd of the year, finishing off a give-and-go with Steve Pinizzotto to beat Carr glove side.

Fyten tied the game again when Oscar Klefbom's rebound bounced off Fyten at the side of the net at 6:10 of the third.

However, Fyten took a slashing penalty a minute later and the Heat made him pay. Reinhart tapped in a feed from Street at 8:27 for his 20th of the year.

Oklahoma City once again evened the game with just over two minutes to go. Hamilton took a pass from Will Acton in the slot and wired a wrist shot past Carr's glove.

Oklahoma City Barons (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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