The Barons still face an uphill challenge to reach the American Hockey League playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but they’ve looked like a playoff team the past month since Mark Arcobello was re-assigned to Oklahoma City.
Bolstered by the franchise’s all-time scoring leader, the Barons continued their home “unbeaten” streak with a 5-4 victory against the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday night at the Cox Convention Center.
Rookie Austin Fyten provided the game-winner with 3:19 to play, and Arcobello tallied three points in a game the Barons never trailed.
“It says a lot about Arco’s character,” said veteran forward Matthew Ford. “Some guys come down and get disappointed. It can be a tough transition, but Arco has made the most of it. He’s really given this team a lift.”
Fyten’s goal with just over three minutes left helped the Barons improve to 6-0-1 in their past seven home games.
“That was a huge one,” Fyten said. “It definitely felt really great to put that one in the back of the net. It wasn’t an easy goal. They made me work for it. I’m just happy we got the W.”
Fyten fought off a defender, slid the puck from his forehand to his backhand and poked it around former NHL goalie Jason LaBarbera.
“That’s one of the nicest goals I’ve seen this year,” Ford said. “Considering the timing that was really cool.”
The catalyst once again was Arcobello, who had a goal and two assists. In eight games with the Barons, Arcobello has 17 points.
“After playing 40 games with Edmonton he has a lot of confidence,” said coach Todd Nelson. “He’s hungry. He wants to get back up there. Even if it’s not with Edmonton there are 29 other teams. He knows that. He’s a sharp guy.”
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