BARONS WEEK IN REVIEW: DECEMBER 10 - 16
By Jim Byers,
Recap of Week 10, Dec. 11-16 (4 games, 2-1-0-1)
Season record: 13-9-1-3, T-3rd, South Division, -6 pts.; T-6th, Western Conference
THE WEEK PAST: The Barons swept the San Antonio Rampage in a pair of Friday-Saturday games at the Cox Center, but went 2-1-0-1 overall for the week. The Peoria Rivermen made their only appearance of the regular season at the Cox Center on Dec. 11 and scored twice in the third, the last into an empty net, to earn a 4-2 win. The Barons downed the Rampage 5-1 on Friday with the help of 3 first-period goals. On Saturday, Jordan Eberle tallied 4 goals and added an assist, matching the club record for points in a game, while Mark Arcobello equaled the club mark with 4 assists in a 5-3 Barons win over the Rampage. On Sunday, OKC completed the second of 8 sets of 3 games in 3 days with a trip to Houston. Arcobello broke a 2-2 tie at 11:11 of the third period to give the Barons a 3-2 lead, but Houston’s Jason Zucker tied the score on a power play with 2:11 left as the Aeros won 4-3 in a shootout, out-scoring the Barons in the tiebreaker 2-0.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The Texas Stars, AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars, visit the Cox Center for 7 pm (CST) games on Friday and Saturday in the Barons’ final 2 games before a 4-day Christmas break. Including a matchup Dec. 27 at Cedar Park Center, the next 3 Barons games are against the Stars. After completing a stretch last weekend where 4 out of 5 contests were against San Antonio, the Barons and Stars will meet in 4 of the next 5 games.
EBERLE JOINS SCHULTZ ATOP POINT RACE: Jordan Eberle drew even with Barons teammate Justin Schultz for the AHL point lead over the weekend and the two enter this week sharing the top spot with 38 points. Eberle tops the league with 19 goals, 13 in the last 11 games. He was the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for November. Schultz leads the AHL with 24 assists and 17 power play points. The CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October and Rookie of the Month in November, Schultz has collected multiple points in 13 of 26 games played, including 9 contests with 2 assists. Schultz’s 24 assists are more than half-way to the AHL rookie record for assists by a defenseman, 47, by Mike Gaul of Hershey in 1997-98. He’s 6 goals away from tying the rookie defenseman goal scoring record, set by John Slaney of Baltimore in 1992-93.
DISTINCTIONS: Jordan Eberle has 11 goals and 14 assists at home this season in 13 games played. His 25 home points by themselves would tie for 11th in the league overall entering this week. Eberle would lead or be tied for the lead on 20 of the AHL’s other 29 teams just taking into account his 25 home points. Justin Schultz has 17 points on the power play, on 5 goals and 12 assists. Schultz has more power play points than the individual season totals for 685 of the 767 skaters who have appeared in at least 1 AHL game this season.
QUICK HITS: The Barons enter this week with the top-rated power play percentage in the AHL at 23.9, on 27 goals in 113 chances. Despite killing 58 of their last 67 times short (86.6 percent) spanning the past 15 games, the Barons are 30th in the league in penalty killing rate at 79.3, one-tenth of a point behind Chicago. Jordan Eberle’s 4-goal game on Saturday was the first Barons hat trick since Colin McDonald recorded 4 goals at San Antonio April 8, 2011. OKC had 27 two-goal games between hat tricks. The Rampage’s Jon Sim recorded 3 goals on Saturday while Eberle was tallying 4 times, marking the first occurrence since March 21, 2009 that players on opposing teams had hat tricks in the same AHL game. The Barons are half-way through 12-game season series with both Houston and San Antonio. OKC is 1-2-0-3 against the Aeros, accounting for all 3 of OKC’s season shootout defeats. Each of the last 5 OKC-Houston games has been decided by 1 goal, and in all 6 head-to-head meetings this season the winning goal has come in the third period or shootout. The Barons and Rampage have split 6 meetings, with the home team winning each. In 2-plus years together in the AHL, the Barons and Rampage have split 24 regular-season matchups and have never gone to overtime or a shootout. Their only OT contests came in last season’s second-round Calder Cup playoff series, when the Barons won 3 straight OT finishes en route to a 4-1 series win.
THE JUSTIN SCHULTZ STANDINGS
Through Dec. 16 Games played: 26
Goals 14 AHL Rank: T-4
Assists 24 AHL Rank: 1
Points 38 AHL Rank: T-1
Plus-minus +13 AHL Rank: T-7
Power play pts 17 AHL Rank: 1
This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date Opponent Time Arena Radio
Friday, Dec. 21 Texas 7:00 pm Cox Convention Center KXY 96.1 FM
Saturday, Dec. 22 Texas 7:00 pm Cox Convention Center KXY 96.1 FM
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