BARONS GAME NOTES - APRIL 10
By Jim Byers,
Oklahoma City Barons (35-24-2-8) at Houston Aeros (36-24-5-5)
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1010925-40.pdf&client_code=ahl
OFF THE TOP: The Barons bring a franchise-record 8-game road unbeaten streak into tonight. OKC is 7-0-0-1 in their last 8 road contests. OKC matched its second-highest shot output of the season with 47 in the most recent game, a 5-2 decision over Chicago on Sunday. The Barons’ season high in shots, 48, was established Jan. 18 vs. San Antonio. OKC has out-shot the opposition in 8 straight games, going 6-1-0-1 in that time. The Barons have held their opponents to 28 shots or fewer in 9 consecutive outings. OKC has standing points in 14 of the last 18 games, going 11-4-0-3. The Barons have allowed 3 goals or fewer in 12 straight games, going 8-2-0-2. OKC is 31-10-0-3 when allowing 3 or fewer. Since returning from his latest stint with the Edmonton Oilers in mid-March, Yann Danis 6-1-2 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. The Barons have fallen behind 2-0 in the first or second period in 3 straight, winning twice (Friday at Texas and Sunday vs. Chicago). OKC has 8 victories this season when trailing by 2 or more goals in a game, 5 of those on the road, and 4 of their last 6 wins have been come-from-behind efforts after facing a 2-0 deficit. Nine of OKC’s 14 goals last week were scored in the third period.
STRETCH RETURNS: For the second time in 6 weeks the Barons have signed center C.J. Stretch to a Professional Tryout (PTO). Stretch scored 4 goals and added 2 assists in 10 games with OKC after signing his original PTO Feb. 26. He was released from that tryout on March 25 and returned to finish the regular season with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign, where he accounted for 62 points (28 goals, 34 assists) in 60 games and added a league-leading 5 playoff goals in a 4-game sweep of Utah.
SPECIALTIES: The Barons went 9 full games without allowing a power play goal, going 24-for-24 on the penalty kill in that span, until yielding a man advantage goal to Chicago on Sunday. Counting the games on either side of the streak, the Barons killed off 28 consecutive times short before Sunday’s power play goal allowed at 3:16 of the second period. OKC is 23-11-2-3 when scoring at least 1 power play goal and 12-4-1-0 when notching 2 or more. The Barons own the league’s top power play percentage at 21.3.
A NEW ERA: The Barons played 34 games to start this season with the services of Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Hall and RNH not play all 34 games with OKC). The Barons went 18-12-1-3 with those current Edmonton Oilers in the lineup, a .588 standing point percentage. In 35 games since they returned to the NHL, OKC is 17-12-1-5 (.571). The Barons were 7th in the Western Conference on Jan. 6, when the players mentioned above departed for the NHL, and they are 7th entering tonight’s game. OKC’s power play was 39-for-149 with the NHLers on the roster (26.2%) and it’s 22-for-137 (16.1) in the past 35 games. OKC was 11-4-1-1 at home with Eberle, et al., and is 8-7-1-2 at the Cox Center without them. The road record, however, has improved from 7-8-0-2 in the first 34 games to 9-5-0-3 and boasts a current, franchise-record 8-game road unbeaten streak dating to a win at Charlotte March 4.
RAJALA DOUBLES UP: Toni Rajala’s 2-goal game on Sunday was his first in the AHL and his 10th multi-point contest in 39 AHL games this season. The 22-year-old rookie from Finland has spent two stints with OKC and two at ECHL Stockton this season. His 36 OKC points, on 13 goals and 23 assists, are 4th-best on the team. Rajala has 34 points (12G, 22A) during his current stint with the Barons dating to Jan. 11. Since returning to the Barons, Rajala is tied for 7th in the AHL in scoring (34 points) and his +15 in that time is tied for 4th in the league. Rajala’s +12 rating in March was the league’s best.
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