On a night the Barons recorded a franchise-low 15 shots, they were still just two seconds away from extending their home winning streak to six.
Pulling its goaltender for an extra attacker, Rockford tied the game in the waning seconds and escaped the Cox Convention Center with a 4-3 American Hockey League shootout win in front of 3,758 fans.
Despite being outshot 38-15, the Barons never trailed until the final shooter of the shootout.
It didn't appear there would be an overtime, or shootout, until Martin St. Pierre made a dazzling diving play to prevent Mark Arcobello from scoring an empty-net, insurance goal with 30 seconds left.
St. Pierre's play became huge when Adam Clendening's slapshot from the point got past OKC goaltender Niko Hovinen with: 02 left in regulation.
“You could see that goal coming,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “They had us hemmed in the entire third period, and we didn't adjust. That's unacceptable ... That's one of the worst games we've played in a long time.”
Arcobello was the only OKC shooter to find the net in the shootout. The IceHogs won it when Brad Mills, their fifth and final skater, beat Hovinen on a backhander.
“Niko played well tonight,” Nelson said. “It was a game if we would have won it we would have stole it. Rockford played a better game than us. I don't know where our guys' heads were tonight. It's not like we're sitting atop the Western Conference. We need every (standings) point.”
Claimed off waivers by Edmonton in late January and assigned to Oklahoma City, Hovinen, a 6-foot-7 Finland product, recorded 34 saves to keep the Barons on top until the final shot.
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