OKLAHOMA CITY---A four-goal third period by the Oklahoma City Barons helped sink the Chicago Wolves 5-2 on Sunday at Cox Convention Center.
Forwards Brett Sterling and Andrew Gordon staked Chicago (35-26-5-4) to a 2-0 advantage by scoring 66 seconds apart in the second period but Oklahoma City (35-24-2-8) rattled off five consecutive markers to earn the victory in a contest that had major ramifications on the Western Conference playoff race.
The Wolves loss dropped them out of the top eight seeds in the Western Conference standings with seven games remaining in the regular season.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Sterling broke the stalemate for Chicago by rifling a power-play score top shelf on Barons goalie Yann Danis at 3:16 of the second period.
Gordon would bag the Wolves second tally of the night when he settled down a bouncing puck in the slot and fired it back through Danis’ legs at 4:22.
Climie (21-22-3) stopped 42 of 46 shots, while Danis (22-14-5) posted 26 saves.
The Barons found the equalizer 9:26 into the final frame, when a giveaway by the Wolves at center ice set up center Ryan Martindale to beat Climie to knot the game at two.
In rapid succession, forward Toni Rajala beat Climie short side to give Oklahoma City their first lead of the game at 10:19.
Trailing 3-2, the Wolves faced a Barons power play and saw them capitalize in the extra man quickly with another strike from Rajala finding mesh at the 14:50 mark.
Facing a two-goal deficit, Chicago pulled Climie with less than a minute to play in the game, allowing Philippe Cornet to pocket the empty net score at 19:37 to seal the victory for the Barons.
Chicago continues its road trip back in the Midwest with a tilt against the Grand Rapids Griffins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 at Van Andel Arena.
Chicago 0 2 0 -- 2
Oklahoma City 0 1 4 -- 5
First Period---None. Penalties---Fedun, Oklahoma City (holding), 3:15; Sauve, Chicago (boarding), 7:45; Groulx, Chicago (holding), 10:27; Tyrvainen, Oklahoma City (roughing), 10:27; Kattelus, Chicago (hooking), 12:53; Martindale, Oklahoma City (goaltender interference), 18:00.
Second Period---1, Chicago, Sterling 22 (Groulx, Schroeder), 3:16 pp; 2, Chicago, Gordon 18 (Sterling, Haydar), 4:22; 3, Oklahoma City, Hartikainen 14 (Arcobello, Fedun), 9:27. Penalties---Desbiens, Chicago (fighting), 1:32; Plante, Oklahoma City (fighting), 1:32; Rajala, Oklahoma City (tripping), 3:06; Bench, Chicago (too many men), 14:16.
Third Period---4, Oklahoma City, Martindale 6 (Pitllick, Hotham), 9:26; 5, Oklahoma City, Rajala 12 (Hartikainen, Stafford), 10:19; 6, Oklahoma City, Rajala 13 (Arcobello, Hartikainen), 14:50 pp; 7, Oklahoma City, Cornet (Arcobello, Cheechoo), 19:37 en. Penalties---Sauve, Chicago (cross-checking), 14:30.
Shots on goal---Chicago: 9-10-9--28; Oklahoma City: 14-15-18--47. Power plays---Chicago 1-3; Oklahoma City 1-4. Goalies—Chicago, Climie (42-46), Oklahoma City, Danis (26-28). A---. Referee---Jean Hebert. Linesmen---Jon Grandt and Pat Turcotte.