PEORIA, Ill. — Oklahoma City remained in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase Friday night with its 4-2 American Hockey League win over Peoria before 4,485 fans at Carver Arena.
Four different players scored for Oklahoma City (31-23-10), which collected two standings points to keep pace with Chicago, Milwaukee, Rockford and Abbotsford in the playoff race. The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. The Barons and their four rivals are all vying for one of the few remaining slots in the conference; if Oklahoma City has an advantage, it has played fewer games than all but Chicago.
Once again, the Barons struggled with prosperity. The Barons carried a 3-0 lead into the third period, getting goals from Tanner House, Toni Rajala and Mark Arcobello. But Peoria (30-30-7) did not quit. The Rivermen drew within 3-1 on Tyler Shattock's goal 3:25 into the period and then 3-2 after T.J. Hensick scored about nine minutes later.
Oklahoma City clinched it with 26 seconds left in the game when Brandon Davidson scored an empty-net goal.
Barons goaltender Yann Danis stopped 25 of 27 shots, including 20 through two periods. Kendal McFaull, a rookie defenseman who just joined the Barons after playing 71 games this season in the Western Junior Hockey League, added an assist on Rajala's second-period goal that gave Oklahoma City a 2-0 lead.
The Barons wrap up the four game road trip with another key conference game at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Rockford.