TORONTO — On a day when one lucky man survived a plunge over Niagara Falls not far down the highway from Ricoh Coliseum, the Oklahoma City Barons couldn't generate any good fortune of their own in dropping a 5-3 decision to the Toronto Marlies in Game 3 of the American Hockey League's Western Conference final.
Matt Frattin's second goal of the game with just 2:02 proved to be the difference as the Marlies sniper ripped a shot just inside the Barons' blue line that fooled Barons goalie Yann Danis and sealed the Toronto victory.
“I thought our team played a strong game,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “We made a few brain cramps that resulted in two goals against. We have to clean that up and get ready for a big game on Wednesday.”
Their victory gives the Marlies a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series with Game 4 slated for Wednesday night at the same venue tucked in along the shores of Lake Ontario.
The Barons erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. Although they eventually drew even, Frattin's first goal off a turnover in the Barons' zone just 48 seconds after Chris VandeVelde had tied it at two was the best example of some shaky play at inopportune times for Nelson's normally reliable road team. The Barons suffered their first road loss during the playoffs.
Frattin now has eight goals in just 11 playoff games.
With the score 2-0 and the near-full house of 7,327 coming to life inside Ricoh, the Barons' Bryan Rodney rifled a laser past Marlies goaltender Ben Scrivens to get to within one. Just 1:29 later, VandeVelde fought his way through traffic to chip in a rebound and temporarily bring his side back to even terms.