Oklahoma City Barons general manager Bill Scott bounced down the steps while leaving press row.
“Just the way we drew it up,” Scott announced.
Scott was being sarcastic after the Barons stole an American Hockey League win Thursday night at the Cox Convention Center.
The Barons tied Utica with four seconds left in regulation then won it 3-2 on Taylor Fedun's goal 17 seconds into overtime.
“I think there definitely was some help from up above on that one,” Fedun said. “After my initial shot it I was just trying to get a handle on it to tip it past (Utica goalie Joe Cannata). It took a miraculous bounce between the defenseman's legs.”
OKC coach Todd Nelson pulled goaltender Richard Bachman with just over a minute left in regulation for an extra attacker. Essentially down to their final shot, the Barons tied it on Curtis Hamilton's goal with four seconds left.
“Earlier in the season we've had some breaks go against us, but tonight we had some breaks go our way,” Nelson said. “They're supposed to all even out by the end of the year. Tonight, the hockey gods were in our favor.”
Fedun was OKC's only defenseman on the ice to start overtime, but the Princeton graduate attacked the play as if he were a forward. Fedun fired a shot at Cannata, corralled the rebound and fired again.
“I was looking to pass the entire time, but there was a little bit of room,” Fedun said. “I just threw it on net and got a very lucky bounce. I was able to get it (back) from between the guy's legs, then get it up and over the goalie. A huge break helped us get a huge win.”
Utica, the Vancouver Canucks' Triple-A affiliate, is last in the Western Conference, but the Comets (11-18-4) were in control much of the game.
Nicklas Jensen scored just his second and third goals of the season for the Comets. Jensen's second goal of the game late in the second period gave Utica a 2-1 lead that stood up until Hamilton tied it.
“We were flat. That, coupled with Utica playing a strong game, Richard had to make some key stops for us,” Nelson said. “We weren't skating like we usually would. The last 10 minutes, we finally started throwing more pucks on net to generate some momentum.”
Barons team captain Anton Lander, who was reassigned to OKC from Edmonton last week, had the key assist on both regulation goals, including Hamilton's game-tying goal.
“When you score those type of goals it gives you a lot of energy,” Lander said. “The whole bench goes crazy. Your guys suddenly feel great. That carried into overtime. We were like, ‘Let's go. Let's win this game.'”
The Barons (14-17-6) have struggled to put back-to-back wins together all season. But they're undefeated in 2014.
After rallying to win a second consecutive game, OKC is riding a three-game winning streak.
“This shows the team character we're starting to build,” said defenseman Brad Hunt, who had two assists. “We're getting some key guys back like Anton. It's good to see this team mold together.”
The Barons have no time to celebrate. They host West Division rival Charlotte Friday and Saturday at the Cox Convention Center. Game time both nights is 7.
“It's basically a new game (Friday),” Lander said. “The past is past. It's a new challenge every day, but this was a good win.”