Barons Beat Charlotte, 8-5

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Roman Horak registered a hat trick while Mark Arcobello and Ben Eager each had three-point nights in the Oklahoma City Barons’ 8-5 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

It’s the Barons season-high fourth straight win and third consecutive on the road during this four-game trip, which concludes against Charlotte on Sunday at 12:30.

The Barons, 20-22-1-5, turn the tables on Charlotte, which had won the first six meetings this season including a 9-3 decision in the last head-to-head contest Jan. 24. The Checkers have dropped three straight and four out of five to fall to 22-23-0-1.

Horak’s hat trick was the 12th in franchise history and it concluded during a five-goal third period, which set the Barons’ season mark for most goals in a period. The eight goals for the game are a season high and equal the second-most in franchise history.

The Barons led early 1-0, allowed three unanswered Charlotte goals to fall behind 3-1 early in the second period before rallying for six straight goals to open a 7-3 cushion. The Checkers tallied twice during a 4-on-4 situation late in the third before Eager scored his second of the game into an empty net with 16 seconds remaining.

Richard Bachman stopped 37 of 42 shots to improve to 12-12-2. Starter John Muse (16-10-0) allowed seven goals on 39 shots to take the loss. Mike Murphy played the final 7:31 and stopped all five shots he faced.

The Barons opened the scoring, as Matthew Ford slipped past the Checkers during a line change and swept in uncontested on John Muse at 5:44, with assists from Ben Eager and Will Acton.

Charlotte scored the next two to take a 2-1 lead after one period. With Barons goaltender Richard Bachman out of the net to make a pass, Aaron Palushaj intercepted the puck and banked a steep-angle shot off the goal post and defenseman Martin Gernat at 11:26. The Checkers scored on another carom at 17:35, as Brody Sutter put one home from the doorstep after a center pass deflected off Barons Taylor Fedun and Gernat.

The Checkers extended their lead to 3-1 just 51 seconds into the second period, when Greg Nemisz fed Brett Sutter at the side of the net and Sutter banked the puck off Barons defenseman Brandon Davidson and into the net. Oklahoma City counted with the final two goals of the second, as David Musil scored his first AHL goal at 12:40 from the deep slot, set up by Austin Fyten and Travis Ewanyk.

The Barons tied the game 3-3 on the power play at 16:49. Roman Horak re-directed an Anton Lander centering pass, with the second assist to Brad Hunt. Lander and Hunt extended their respective point streaks to five games.

Eager broke up ice and buried a snap shot past Muse 27 seconds into the third to make the score 4-3. Horak followed with a rebound goal at 1:13 to build the lead to 5-3. Arcobello one-timed a power-play tally at 8:47, followed by Horak’s third at 11L08 off the rush to make it 7-3.

The Checkers responded with goals by Michal Jordan (at 16:33) and Mark Flood (17:37) to close the gap to 7-5 before Eager’s empty-netter concluded the scoring.

Arcobello had a goal and two assists. Eager potted two goals plus an assist, while Will Acton, Ford, Pinizzotto, Lander and Hunt had two-point games.

Oklahoma City went 2-for-4 on the power play while killing off its only time short.

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