The Rochester Americans led the Oklahoma City Barons in shots, 24-23. The Amerks led in hits, 21-20. The Barons won the game, 4-2.
The loss wasn’t due to a lack of effort. The Amerks fought hard, and played with heart and passion – very much unlike their parent Buffalo Sabres. As much as I hate the excuse, the referee had a hand in tonight’s outcome.
With 7 minutes left in the game, and the Barons up 2-1, Derek Whitmore was blatantly high-sticked directly in the head just as the Barons entered the Amerks zone. No call was made. Only a couple seconds later, the Barons scored to take a 3-1 lead, instead of the Amerks going on a powerplay with a chance to tie the game.
With 2:20 left in the game, Zack Kassian, Jacob Lagace, and Travis Turnbull swarmed the net. Turnbull was able to score amidst the crowd and make it 3-2. A minute later, poor timing on trying to pull goaltender Drew MacIntyre helped the Barons get the final goal.
Earlier in the game, Lagace scored on a wonderful pass from Paul Szczechura.
The Amerks are now 17-15-5, good for 2nd place in their division, and 5 points behind the leading Toronto Marlies. The team travels to Grand Rapids for a game against the Griffins tomorrow.