By Jim Byers, on 02/11/2013

•      THE WEEK PAST: In the second of 4 consecutive weeks featuring just a pair back-to-back games against the same opponent, the Barons swept the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday and Saturday at the Cox Center, 4-3 and 7-5. In each game the Barons overcame a 2-goal deficit, the third and fourth times this season they’ve done that and all 4 of those rallies have occurred since Dec. 28. In 4 of OKC’s last 8 wins they faced a 2-goal deficit at some point. The Barons and Griffins completed a 4-game season series with a split, however OKC’s record is 2-1-0-1 because of a shootout loss at Grand Rapids Jan. 23.


•      THE WEEK AHEAD: The Barons visit the Cedar Park Center on Friday (7:30 pm CST) and Saturday (7:00) for consecutive games against the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars). OKC has won 5 of 7 meetings with Texas this season, all regulation-time finals, and owns 6-4 and 5-4 wins at  Cedar Park Center in the only previous meetings there Nov. 21 and Dec. 27. Since starting the season 3-6-0-1, Texas has gone 25-7-4-2, with 4 of those 7 regulation losses against OKC. The Stars are 8-2-2-1 at home since Nov. 21 and both those regulation losses were against the Barons. Texas begins this week with an AHL-high 63 standing points. Their season record of 28-13-4-3 computes to a .656 standing point percentage that is third in the AHL behind Eastern Conference leaders Springfield (.689) and Binghamton (.663). Texas’ standing point percentage against OKC is .286 (2-5-0-0 record), while against all other opponents combined it’s .720 (a 26-8-4-3 mark against all AHL clubs except OKC).


•      THREE IN A ROW: The Barons enter this week on a 3-game winning streak, scoring 7 goals twice in that span to match their season high for tallies in a game. It’s the Barons’ first winning streak since the final 4 games of December and their first consecutive wins since the departure to the Edmonton Oilers of Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz (still the AHL’s top 2 scorers with 51 and 48 points respectively) and Taylor Hall after a 3-2 win at Milwaukee Jan. 5. OKC begins this week ninth in the tightly-grouped Western Conference with 52 points, just 3 back of Lake Erie and Houston, who are tied for fifth with 55. While the season series is over with Lake Erie, the Barons have 5 remaining meetings with Houston.


•      SIX-GOAL THIRD PERIOD A LEAGUE HIGH: OKC rallied for 6 goals in the third period of Saturday’s 7-5 win over Grand Rapids, setting the AHL high so far this season for goals in a period. The previous high was 5, set by multiple teams. The 6-goal period matches OKC’s club record, set in the second period of a 10-1 victory over Texas Oct. 15, 2011 at the Cox Center. Also in Saturday’s third period the Barons scored 3 goals in a 48-second span, just missing the team record of 44 seconds set in that Oct. 15, 2011 game against Texas.


•      CHEECHOO ON A TEAR: Former NHL All-Star and Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner Jonathan Cheechoo has equaled the team’s longest goal-scoring streak by lighting the lamp in 3 straight games. Cheechoo has 5 goals, 5 assists, a +6 rating and 15 shots (5 in each game) over the past 3 games, all OKC wins.


•      ARCOBELLO MAKES NHL DEBUT: AHL All-Star Mark Arcobello received a one-game promotion to the Edmonton Oilers last week and made his NHL debut on Feb. 6 against Dallas at Rexall Place. With 14 goals and 29 assists for 43 points, Arcobello is tied for sixth in the AHL point race. He was returned on loan to the Barons in time for the 2-game set with Grand Rapids and collected 4 assists on the weekend, including 3 on Saturday. Arcobello has points in 3 straight Barons games, totaling 2 goals, 6 assists and a +6 rating.


•      POINT PILEUP: Several Barons are accumulating point streaks during the team’s 3-game winning streak. Philippe Cornet has goals in 3 straight to match the team high, shared currently with Jonathan Cheechoo and set previously by Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle (twice each). Cornet has 4 goals, 4 assists and is +5 in the past 3 games. Brett Clark has assists in 3 straight (5 in that span) and 5 of the last 6 games. Toni Rajala has points in 3 straight and 6 of the last 7 contests, totaling 3 goals and 4 assists. Taylor Fedun has assists in 4 of his last 5 games, notching 6 helpers in that span. Josh Green has points in 4 of the last 5 games, 2 goals and 2 assists. Ryan Martindale has goals in 2 straight.


This week’s games (times listed as Central)

Date         Opponent    Time         Arena                         Radio

Feb. 15     Texas           7:30 pm    Cedar Park Center       KXY 96.1 FM   

Feb. 16     Texas           7:00 pm    Cedar Park Center       KXY 96.1 FM


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