BARONS WEEK IN REVIEW: APRIL 8 - 14
By Jim Byers,
Recap of Week 27, April 10-14 (3 games, 2-0-0-1)
Season record: 37-24-2-9, 85 points, 4th, South Division; 7th, Western Conference
• THE WEEK PAST: The Barons embarked on their longest trip of the season in terms of days on the road (9), earning 2 wins and a shootout loss in the first three games of the 4-game swing. On Wednesday, OKC collected its first win of the season at Houston by out-shooting the Aeros 33-12 in the first 2 periods (38-21 for the game) and scoring the final 4 goals in a 4-1 win. The Barons went 1-3-0-2 at Houston this season and are 3-5-0-3 against the Aeros with 1 game remaining between the teams on Sunday at the Cox Center at 4 pm. On Friday, the Barons made their only visit of the season to Rochester and earned a standing point in a 3-2 shootout loss. OKC piled 42 shots on Americans goalie David Leggio, who stopped Tanner House on a breakaway with 19.6 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime and eventually a shootout. Rochester prevailed in a pair of 3-2 shootouts against the Barons in the 2-game season series. On Sunday, Yann Danis stopped 24 shots in the Barons’ first shutout of the season as OKC opened a 2-0 lead 4:11 into the game and pulled away from a 4-0 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs.
• THE WEEK AHEAD: The final road game of the regular season is Tuesday at 6 pm (CDT) at Ricoh Coliseum against the Toronto Marlies. The teams have met only once this season, Nov. 13 at OKC, with Toronto winning 6-5 in overtime in a game dotted with players currently in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs. OKC is riding a franchise-record 11-game road unbeaten streak, going 9-0-0-2. The Barons conclude the regular season with home games Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Cox Center. The Abbotsford Heat, top affiliate of the Calgary Flames, resume the AHL Battle of Alberta on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm CDT. The teams met in Abbotsford Nov. 9-10, with the Heat blanking the Barons 4-0 in the first outing and OKC rebounding with a Justin Schultz overtime goal and 2-1 win in Game 2. The Houston Aeros visit the Cox Center to wrap up the regular season Sunday at 4 pm. The Barons are 3-5-0-3 against the Aeros, with a 2-2-0-1 mark at the Cox Center.
• PLAYOFF SNAPSHOT: With standing points in 10 of their last 11 games, including 8 wins, the Barons have reduced their magic number to clinch a Calder Cup playoff spot to 5 points. OKC has sole possession of 7th in the Western Conference entering this week, 1 point behind Houston and Rochester, who are tied for fifth. The Barons have played 1 fewer game than both the Aeros and Americans. OKC is 2 points ahead of 8th-place Rockford and 4 points up on Milwaukee and Chicago. Eight teams make the playoffs from each conference, the 3 division winners followed by the next 5 teams by standing points.
• RAJALA’S ROLL: Since rookie left winger Toni Rajala rejoined the Barons from ECHL Stockton Jan. 11 for his current stint in the AHL he has 39 points, on 14 goals and 25 assists. Those 39 points in 37 games tie him for 3rd in the AHL dating to Jan. 11 and his +16 rating in that time is tied for 4th-best. Rajala owns a 4-game point streak, with 3 of those multi-point contests, and he’s collected 4 goals and 3 assists in the past 4 games. For the season, counting 5 games with the Barons in late November, Rajala has 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points in 42 games, in addition to a +17 rating.
• PIVOTAL PERFORMERS: Mark Arcobello has multiple points in 3 of the past 4 games, totaling 2 goals and 5 assists. Arcobello tops the Barons with 65 points, including 22 goals, and his point total is tied for 4th in the AHL. Arcobello, the club’s all-time leader with 130 points in 3 seasons, enters the regular season’s final 4 games with the 3rd-highest single-season point total in Barons’ history, trailing only Alexandre Giroux (78) and Brad Moran (72) from the inaugural 2010-11 campaign. Yann Danis is 8-1-3 since returning from the Edmonton Oilers in mid-March with a 1.80 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Martin Marincin is in a multiple-way tie for 9th in the AHL in plus-minus at +20.
• QUICK HITS: The Barons have won all 8 games when Jonathan Cheechoo has scored a goal. They are 12-1-0-0 when he records a point. OKC has been perfect on the penalty kill in 12 of the past 13 games, stopping 35 of the last 36 opposing power plays. The Barons have allowed 3 goals or fewer in 15 straight games, going 10-2-0-3 during that run.OKC is 33-10-0-4 when allowing 3 or fewer. The Barons have earned at least 1 standing point in 17 of the last 21 games, going 13-4-0-4. The Barons have out-shot the opponent in 11 straight games, going 8-1-0-2 in those contests. OKC has limited its opposition to 28 shots or fewer in 10 of the last 11 games. The Barons have out-shot the opponent in the second period by 105 shots, 767-662.
• SCHULTZ HONORED: Defenseman Justin Schultz, who played the first 34 games of the season with the Barons, was named a First-Team AHL All-Star last week. Schultz remains the defense scoring leader in the AHL with 48 points. Schultz is also a member of the 2013 AHL All-Rookie Team.
This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date Opponent Time Arena Radio
April 16 Toronto 6:00 pm Ricoh Coliseum KXY 96.1 FM
April 19 Abbotsford 7:00 pm Cox Center KXY 96.1 FM
April 20 Abbotsford 7:00 pm Cox Center KXY 96.1 FM
April 21 Houston 4:00 pm Cox Center KXY 96.1 FM
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