ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Kevin Montgomery scored a power-play goal in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Barons to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Abbotsford Heat on Thursday night in American Hockey League action.
Down 2-0, Ryan Lowery and Mark Arcobello scored goals 27 seconds apart in the third period to tie the game for Oklahoma City.
Montgomery scored with a laser of a shot with 35.7 seconds remaining.
?I think we made the necessary changes heading into the third period,? said Montgomery. ?We simplified everything and it paid off.?
Paul Byron and Krys Kolanos scored second-period goals while Leland Irving stopped 21 shots for Heat (7-4-0), who snapped a three-game winning streak in their first game back from a road trip.
?Coming off the road you?ve got to play 60 minutes and we didn?t,? Heat coach Troy Ward said. ?We?re one of the best penalty-killing teams in the league for a reason, because we manage the puck well. We didn?t at the end there.?
For Kolanos it was his fifth goal in four games, for a total of nine points since joining the Heat. He had missed all of last season and the start of this year recovering from hip surgery.
The Barons (7-2-1) have won three in a row.
With the win Oklahoma City now sits in second place in the West Division, behind the Houston Aeros.
This was Linus Omark???s first game for the Barons since being sent down by the Edmonton Oilers.
Though he had no points this season with the Oilers, part of the reason for the demotion was that if they waited until he played 60 NHL games (he was sitting at 56), then he would have to clear waivers in the event of a demotion.
There were few scoring chances in the opening frame but Irving was forced to make a couple saves off Tristan Grant in close to keep the game scoreless.
He kept up the strong play in the second, making a big save by kicking his leg out to stop Josh Green???s one-timer from 12-feet out.
The Heat fed off their goaltender???s efforts and opened the scoring at 13:38. Greg Nemisz took a pass from Byron on a 3-on-2 rush and then fed the puck back to him to redirect it past Barons goalie Yann Danis for his third of the season.
Byron had recently returned from serving a four-game suspension.
???(Byron) had a great goal on a great play,??? said Ward. ???I was excited for him because I think he need that (to help get his timing back).???
A goal-mouth scramble resulted in a 2-0 Abbotsford lead at 17:35. Both Ben Walter and Jon Rheault jammed at the puck before Kolanos rushed in to slip the puck under Danis.
Just past the midway mark of the third period, Omark set up the Barons??? first goal at 10:46. From behind the net, Omark found Lowery who one-timed it through Irving for his first goal of the season.
Twenty-seven seconds later Arcobello tied the game when a blocked shot ricocheted right to him.
Danis made 27 saves for the Barons.
Saturday the two teams meet again in Abbotsford.
???We played a great team tonight and we play them again Saturday night so we need to be ready for a big game,??? said Montgomery.