ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Gilbert Brule scored the overtime winner to lead the Oklahoma Barons to a 4-3 win over the Abbotsford Heat in American Hockey League action Saturday night.
Josh Green, with two goals, and Philippe Cornet scored for Oklahoma City (8-2-1), which has won four straight, including back-to-back wins over the Heat. Linus Omark had three assists for the Barons.
Greg Nemisz scored twice for Abbotsford (7-4-1), while Ben Walter added a single.
"We definitely didn't finish the way we wanted to," said Nemisz. "We can feel good about the third period but we need to start putting some wins up."
Oklahoma City's David LeNeveu won the battle of the backup goalies, making 19 saves, while at the other end Joni Ortio stopped 21 shots in the loss.
The penalty kill was the strength of the Heat this year ? they were first in the league entering their homestand ? but allowed three goals, including two on five chances, Saturday.
"You're really good for a while and you ride that wave but after a while the hockey gods just put pucks in the cage," said Heat head coach Troy Ward.
"Obviously with the four talented guys that they're going to put on the ice (that will also make a difference.) I felt bad for penalty killers."
Also, using Ortio instead of Leland Irving, the league's leader in minutes played, accounted for part of that.
"Our goaltender change played a big part (as well.) Nothing against Ortio though, since it was his first start of the year," said Ward
The Heat opened the scoring just 76 seconds into the game when Krys Kolanos bounced the puck off the side of the net right to Walter in front and he beat LeNeveau along the ice.
During a Heat penalty kill, LeNeveau mishandled a clearing attempt and gave it right to Nemisz who made no mistake for his fourth on the year.
Oklahoma City got it back on the same power play as Cornet and Brule worked a give-and-go, finishing with Cornet burying the puck through Irving's legs at 5:01 of the first.
The Barons tied the game at 11:18 when Omark slid a perfect pass over to Ryan Keller who dished to Green and he put the puck around the goalie.
The Barons took their first lead midway through the game. Omark???s pass, as he was falling to the ice, deflected off a skate right to Green who dangled to his backhand and lifted it over Ortio at 9:41.
Abbotsford tied the game at the end of a Oklahoma City too-many-men penalty at 12:56. Mikkelson sent the puck to the front of the net and Nemisz slid it under LeNeveau.
"It was two pretty fortunate bounces tonight," said Nemisz of his two goals. "It's about being in the right spot."
The overtime winner came when Omark drew a holding penalty on Abbotsford's Chris Breen. On that power play Brule took a pass from Keller and one-timed for his fourth goal of the year.