By Jim Byers, on 02/06/2012

Recap of Week 18, Feb. 2-3 (2 games, 1-1-0-0)
Season record: 30-12-2-3, 1st, West Division, +7 pts. 

•      THE WEEK PAST: The Barons split a pair of home games, but maintained the best record in the AHL with 65 points and a seven-point West Division lead over Houston entering this week. The Barons halted San Antonio’s seven-game winning streak on Thursday with a 3-0 win at the Cox Center, in the process extending their own win streak to a franchise-record seven straight. The string ended on Friday, when the Charlotte Checkers won for the third time in four games at the Cox Center in a 3-1 final. Friday’s defeat also snapped the Barons’ season-high four-game home winning streak.  

•      THE WEEK AHEAD: For the third straight week, the Barons play just a pair of games as they visit Western Canada to take on the Abbotsford Heat. Thursday’s 8 pm (CST) contest will take place at the home of the Calgary Flames, Scotiabank Saddledome. It’s the second consecutive year the teams have met in Calgary, home of the Heat’s parent club. After a travel day on Friday, the teams wrap up their eight-game season series at the Abbotsford (B.C.) Entertainment and Sports Centre at 9 pm (CST) on Saturday. The Barons have won four of six against the Heat this season, including both games at Abbotsford in November. 

•      CHART-TOPPERS: Entering this week, the Barons lead the 30-team AHL in wins (30), points (65) and point percentage (.691). OKC has allowed the league’s fewest goals (103) and averages a league-best 2.19 goals allowed per game. The Barons’ overall penalty killing percentage (86.5) and home PK rate (89.9) are AHL bests. 

•      NET GAINS: OKC’s goaltenders, Yann Danis and David LeNeveu, begin this week 1-2 in the AHL in goals-against average. Danis leads with a 2.04 mark, while LeNeveu is second at 2.06. Danis is tied for second in wins with 19, 1 behind Peoria’s Ben Bishop. Danis is second with four shutouts, two behind Bishop. Danis is sixth in save percentage at .924, while LeNeveu is seventh at .923. When LeNeveu was charged with three goals in Friday’s 3-1 loss it marked the first time since Dec. 31 a Barons goalie had allowed more than two goals in a game. OKC’s goalies went 13 straight without being charged with more than two goals in a single contest, from Jan. 1-Feb. 2. 

•      RANKING MEMBERS: All-Star winger Philippe Cornet, who made his NHL debut on Tuesday with the Edmonton Oilers and earned an assist, was returned to the Barons after his second NHL game on Thursday. Cornet is tied for sixth in the AHL in goals with 21 and tied for the lead in game-winners with 6. Cornet and teammate Triston Grant are 1-2 in the league in shooting percentage. Cornet’s 21 goals have come on 67 shots (31.3), while Grant, out since Dec. 31 with an injury, has 8 tallies on 33 shots (24.2). St. John’s center Riley Holzapfel is also connecting at 24.2%. Ryan Keller is fifth in plus-minus (+19), while Ryan O’Marra is tied for 11th at +14. Hunter Tremblay is tied for second in shorthanded goals with 4. 

•      STREAK RECAP: The Barons’ seven-game winning streak that ended on Friday was the longest in their brief AHL franchise history. It’s tied with San Antonio’s recent seven-game streak for the second-longest in the league this season behind eight-game winning runs for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport. During the streak, the Barons never trailed at the end of any period, owning a lead or seeing a tie score at each intermission. OKC only trailed an opponent in one stretch of one game, Jan. 19 at Rochester, for 5:53 seconds. Otherwise, they faced a tie score or held a lead throughout the seven straight wins. 

•      WIN WITH GREEN: OKC is 15-5-1-2 when Josh Green is in the lineup, a .717 point percentage. 

This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date                Opponent         Time   Arena                                    Radio
February 9      @ Abbotsford*    8 pm    Scotiabank Saddledome        KXY 96.1 FM
February 11    @ Abbotsford     9 pm    Entertainment/Sports Centre  KXY 96.1 FM

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