Having two players in the penalty box late in a tie game leaves no margin for error.
The Rochester Americans scored two power-play goals the final six minutes to notch a 4-3 win over the Oklahoma City Barons on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.
With 71/2 minutes remaining, Tyler Pitlick was whistled for a four-minute, double-minor for high-sticking. Less than a minute later, teammate Matthew Ford was called for goaltender interference while attempting to score a short-handed goal.
“This was a tough one for us,” said Barons center Will Acton. “(Ford) was on a breakaway to where it looked like we might take the lead. A couple of seconds later, we're down five-on-three. It was a tough call that put us in a real tough spot.
“We tried to hold them off for as long as we could, but they ended up getting two goals out of it. That was the game.”
With just five seconds left on Pitlick's first penalty, Jamie Tradit scored with 5:36 remaining to give the Americans a 3-2 lead. Only 12 seconds remained on Pitlick's second penalty when Colton Gillies pushed Rochester's lead to 4-2.
The insurance goal proved to be the difference when Pitlick scored with 1:45 remaining.
“It was a long-five-on-three,” Barons coach Todd Nelson said after his club fell to 14-20-6. “They capitalized and we had to scramble to try and make a game of it. Penalties cost us.”
Nelson said Ford's penalty was the correct call.
“It was a penalty,” Nelson said. “He was going hard to the net. He fanned on the puck. I think he tried to pull up and stop, but his momentum kept going.”
Losing three consecutive home games for the first time all season, the Barons owned 1-0 and 2-1 leads on goals by Roman Horak and team captain Anton Lander. Defenseman Taylor Fedun had an assist on both goals.
“That's a game we have to get,” Nelson said. “We had chances to score goals to put us back in the lead. It's frustrating because that's a game we should have won. Now we have to wipe it clean and get ready for Saturday's game.”
The Barons close out a seven-game homestand with games Saturday night and Sunday afternoon against the Milwaukee Admirals.
“Milwaukee is a team that doesn't make many mistakes and plays extremely hard,” Nelson said. “We'll have to put on our work boots for 60 minutes if we want to beat them.”