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BARONS WEEK IN REVIEW: FEBRUARY 27 - MARCH 4

By Jim Byers,

Recap of Week 22, March 2-4 (3 games, 0-2-0-1)
Season record: 35-17-2-4, 1st, West Division, +9 pts. 

•      THE WEEK PAST: The Barons resumed a season-high 6-game trip with a 3-in-3 set at Peoria, Grand Rapids and Chicago and slipped into their first 3-game road winless stretch of the season after 2 losses and a shootout defeat. Peoria downed the Barons 4-2 on Friday in their first regulation loss at Carver Arena in their brief franchise history. On Saturday, two late Barons goals tied the score at Grand Rapids 3-3, forcing overtime and eventually a shootout. The Griffins won the game 4-3 by out-scoring the Barons 2-0 in the shootout. On Sunday, Chicago handed the Barons a 4-1 setback on the strength of 3 goals by Mark Mancari.   

•      WHERE THEY STAND: The Barons maintain the top spot in the Western Conference with 76 points, the second-highest standing point total in the league. The Norfolk Admirals, winners of 12 straight, lead the league with 81 points. Toronto has the second-most points in the Western Conference with 71. OKC has the third-best point percentage at .655, trailing Norfolk (.675) and St. John’s (.670). 

•      THE WEEK AHEAD: The current 6-game trip ends on Wednesday with a 7 pm game at Peoria. Wednesday’s game wraps up the Peoria portion of the 4-game season series. The teams have split the first two meetings, with each home club winning. The Rivermen visit the Cox Center one more time April 6. The Barons return home for back-to-back games against the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm inside the Cox Center. OKC defeated the Colorado Avalanche’s affiliate twice in January at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, 3-2 and 3-1.

•      GOALIE SHUFFLE: All-Star Yann Danis was returned to the Barons by Edmonton March 1 after a 10-day stint with the Oilers and played one AHL game last week, a 4-2 loss in Peoria, before being sidelined with knee soreness. Olivier Roy, who filled in while Danis was in the NHL, returned to Stockton of the ECHL last week but rejoined the Barons on Sunday in Chicago.  Roy played most of the final two periods Sunday after relieving David LeNeveu and for the second time in as many Barons appearances did not receive a decision. LeNeveu was the starter in both games in which Roy has appeared, the other being Feb. 24 at Charlotte, and LeNeveu was tagged with both losses. Danis leads the AHL with a 2.04 goals-against average. LeNeveu, who has been first or second in recent weeks, dropped to fourth at 2.25 after being charged with 3 goals in 20:33 on Sunday at Chicago. Danis is fourth in wins (21), tied for second in shutouts (5) and tied for fourth in save percentage (.925).

•      RANKING MEMBERS: All-Star winger Philippe Cornet is tied for 11th in the AHL in goals (22) and is part of a group that includes teammate Ryan Keller that has the second-most in game-winners (6, the two leaders have 7). Cornet is second in the AHL in shooting percentage at 23.2. Cornet’s 22 goals have come on 95 shots. Keller is tied for seventh in plus-minus (+19). Hunter Tremblay, who has missed the past 7 games with an injury, is tied for second in shorthanded goals with 4.

•      ODDS AND ENDS: Saturday’s shootout defeat at Grand Rapids dropped the Barons to 4-4 in that category. Only 1 of OKC’s 8 shootouts has lasted the prescribed 5 rounds. Three of the tiebreakers, including Saturday’s, have needed only 4 rounds for a winner to be decided. The other 4 have gone longer, with a pair lasting 6 rounds in addition to 7- and 9-rounders...fifteen times this season the Barons have had a 2-goal game by an individual, but they have yet to record a hat trick...the Barons’ current 3-game road winless streak (0-2-0-1) is their longest road drought of the season...on only one occasion has OKC dropped consecutive road games in regulation, Jan. 6-8 at Toronto and Hamilton.   

This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date                Opponent       Time               Arena                                  Radio
March 7           @ Peoria         7 pm                Carver Arena                    AM 1340
March 9           Lake Erie         7 pm                Cox Convention Center   KXY 96.1 March 10         Lake Erie         7 pm                Cox Convention Center   KXY 96.1

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