By Jim Byers, on 05/20/2012

(2) Toronto Marlies at (1) Oklahoma City Barons
Calder Cup Playoffs | Series “N” Western Conference Finals, Game 3 | Series even 1-1
May 21, 2012, 2 pm CDT | Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TODAY: After trading lopsided wins in the first 2 games of the Western Conference Finals in Oklahoma City on Thursday and Friday, the Barons and Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs) resume the series with a Victoria Day matinee at Ricoh Coliseum. Games 4 and 5 will also take place in Toronto on Wednesday and Friday in the 2-3-2 series format. OKC is the No 1 seed in the Western Conference with 99 regular season points. Toronto is the No. 2 seed with 96 points. The Barons and Marlies met twice in the regular season, with the home team winning both games.

OFF THE TOP: OKC is 5-0 on the road in the playoffs, the only undefeated road team during this postseason. They have out-scored the opposition on the road 17-6. Mark Arcobello’s 2-point night on Friday gave him a team-high 13 playoff points, tied for second in the league. Three of Arcobello’s tallies have opened the scoring in a game, tying him with 2 others for the league lead in first goals. Dan Ringwald’s +9 rating is tied for second-best in the league behind a +10 for Toronto’s Jerry D’Amigo and Norfolk’s Alexandre Picard. Friday’s 84 penalty minutes for the Barons and 70 for Toronto were not only an OKC postseason record for team and combined PIMs, but also highs for any game in the Barons’ 2-season AHL history. The previous combined PIM mark was 102 on Nov. 25, 2011 (OKC 48 PIM, Grand Rapids 54).

PLAYOFF PATTER: After out-shooting the opposition in 8 of their first 9 playoff games through the first 2 rounds by a 307-213 margin, OKC has been out-shot by Toronto in each of the first 2 games of the current series, each time by 1 shot. The Marlies out-shot the Barons 32-31 on Thursday and 28-27 on Friday. Opponents are averaging 24.82 shots per game against OKC, second in the playoffs behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for fewest shots allowed. The Barons have scored first in 9 of 11 playoff games, the only times they haven’t scored first were their 2 shutout losses. The Barons are 8-1 when scoring the first goal.

UPPER ECHELON: The Barons and Marlies finished the regular season with the second and third best records in the AHL. OKC had 99 points and Toronto 96, behind only Norfolk’s 113. The top 2 seeds in each conference have made the league’s final 4 for the first time since 1987, with No. 1 Norfolk leading St. John’s 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, with Game 3 tonight. OKC and Toronto each won their previous series with 4 straight wins after dropping series openers against San Antonio and Abbotsford, respectively.

DEFENSE FIRST: The Marlies and Barons were 1-2 in goals against and penalty killing during the regular season. Toronto’s PK rate was 88.1, while OKC’s was 85.6. Overall, the Marlies allowed a league-low 175 goals to OKC’s 176. AHL Goaltender of the Year Yann Danis was second only to Toronto’s Ben Scrivens in goals-against average, 2.07 to 2.04. Danis went 1-1-0 with a 1.01 GAA and .959 save percentage in 2 regular-season meetings with Toronto. Thursday’s series opener was the first time OKC faced Scrivens.

STREAK STOPPER: Mark Arcobello’s goal 4:23 into Friday’s first period snapped a Barons scoreless stretch against the Marlies of 125:39. The streak spanned Thursday’s 5-0 final, a 2-0 blanking on Jan. 6 and snippets of games Nov. 8 and Friday. It was also the Barons’ first power play goal in the current campaign, regular season or playoffs, against Toronto. OKC is a combined 1-for-22 against Toronto on the power play, while in 4 total meetings this season the Marlies have 1 power play goal in 25 chances against the Barons.

RARE COMPANY: Chris VandeVelde scored overtime goals in consecutive games of the previous series at San Antonio, ending Games 3 and 4 by 2-1 final scores. VandeVelde is the second player in AHL history to record back-to-back overtime goals in the same series and the first since Rochester’s Jim Wiemer in 1983. VandeVelde is the eighth AHLer with 2 OT goals in a single series and he shares, with 30 others, the all-time mark for overtime winners in a playoff season.

Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
May 3 SA L, 4-6 Danis (6, 23) Markstrom (4, 26) 2,833
May 5 SA W, 5-4 OT Danis (4, 22) Markstrom (5, 32) 2,962
May 7 @ SA W, 2-1 OT Danis (1, 25) Markstrom (2, 34) 3,678
May 10 @ SA W, 2-1 OT Danis (1, 30) Markstrom (2, 28) 3,836
May 11 @ SA W, 4-3 Danis (3, 22) Markstrom (4, 27) 4,775
May 17 Tor L, 0-5 Danis (5, 27) Scrivens (0, 31) 2,596
May 18 Tor W, 5-1 Danis (1, 27) Scrivens (4, EN, 22) 2,621

Upcoming Series Schedule (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast

May 23 @ Tor Ricoh Coliseum 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
May 25 @ Tor Ricoh Coliseum 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
May 28* Tor Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
May 30* Tor Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
* If necessary

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