By Jim Byers, on 03/06/2014

Oklahoma City Barons (26-24-1-7) at Hamilton Bulldogs (25-25-1-4)      

Barons Game 59  |  Road Game 31 |  AHL Game 851
March 7, 2014, 6:30 pm CST  | FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, ON
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM,
AHL Media Kit Link:

TONIGHT: The Barons play the middle leg of a 3-game road swing with their first matchup of the season with the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens). OKC began the trip with a 4-3 shootout loss in Utica on Wednesday. The Barons are on a 4-game unbeaten streak, having won all 3 before the trip during a 3-in-3 stretch at home last weekend. The Barons and Bulldogs meet again in OKC April 2, marking the second straight season their lone clash in OKC has come on that date. OKC is ninth in the Western Conference with 60 points, 2 back of Milwaukee. Hamilton is 12th with 55.

OKC is 2-0-0-1 in March, 9-2-0-2 in its last 13 and 15-7-0-2 since the first of the year. On Jan. 30, when the 9-2-0-2 run began, the Barons were 14th in the Western Conference with 38 points, 8 back of the final playoff spot. Entering tonight’s game they’re ninth in the conference with 60 points, 2 away from matching Milwaukee for the eight Calder Cup playoff position. Richard Bachman has started 13 of the past 14 games, going 9-2-2 in that span. Since Feb. 2, when Mark Arcobello made his season debut with the Barons, OKC is 18-for-56 (32.1 percent) on the power play. The power play was tied for 11th in the AHL at 18.6 percent on Feb. 2 when Arcobello made his debut. Entering tonight, it’s fifth at 21.6 even after an 0-for-3 effort in a 4-3 shootout loss on Wednesday at Utica. The Barons have scored either a tying or go-ahead goal in the final 4:10 of regulation time in 4 straight games.

Mark Arcobello, the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending March 2, has points in all 10 games with OKC since being loaned by Edmonton in early February and has totaled 20 points as a Baron this season. His 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists) are the most in the AHL dating to Feb. 2, when he played his first Barons game this season.  Arcobello’s 10-game point streak matches the club record set by Alexandre Giroux in 2011 and later equaled by Josh Green and Justin Schultz. Arcobello has goals in 7 of his 10 contests and has recorded 7 multi-point games. Arcobello spent the first 4 months of the season with the Oilers, collecting 4 goals and 14 assists in 41 games. He finished last season tied for third in the AHL in points with 68. In 3 games last week, Arcobello had 3 goals (1 in each game), 4 assists and 8 shots while helping lead the Barons to 3 wins.

Defenseman Brad Hunt has 14 points in the last 9 games, including at least 1 point in 12 of 15. Hunt is 6th in the AHL in defenseman scoring with 38 points. He had a string of consecutive 2-assist games snapped on Wednesday when he was held off the scoresheet despite 3 shots and a +1 rating.

Defenseman Brandon Davidson capped a 3-goal, third-period comeback in Sunday’s 6-5 win over San Antonio by scoring the tying and winning goals, the latter with 35.2 seconds remaining. They were Davidson’s first goals of the season and the third and fourth of the second-year pro’s AHL career. His two tallies last year were empty-netters. Davidson was the recipient of the 2013 Fred T. Hunt Memorial Trophy as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

OKC fell to 1-7 in shootouts with Wednesday’s 4-3 setback at Utica. OKC rallied from a 3-1 third-period deficit to force overtime on goals by Steve Pinizzotto and Jack Combs, each of whom was acquired in January trades from San Antonio for Ryan Martindale and Derek Nesbitt, respectively. The Barons share the AHL lead in shootout losses with Norfolk and Portland. Utica’s Nicklas Jensen scored the decisive goal in the shootout with the “Forsberg Move.” Jensen scored a shootout winner in the same fashion against the as a member of the Chicago Wolves on March 27, 2013.

NELSON HITS 300: Barons head coach Todd Nelson earned his 300th professional win in Sunday’s 6-5 decision over San Antonio. Nelson is 300-167-55 in 7 seasons as a head coach in the American Hockey League and United Hockey Leagues with the Barons and Muskegon Fury.

Last 5 Games:
Date       Opp.      Result     OKC Goalie (GA, SV) Opp. Goalie              Attn.
Feb. 23   @ Tor     L, 1-4       Bachman (4, 27)            Sparks (1, 38)             4,290
Feb. 28   Rfd         OTW, 5-4  Bachman (4, 32)            LaBarbera (5, 32)       3,853
March 1  Rfd         W, 5-4      Bachman (4, 31)            Simpson/LaBarbera    3,158
March 2  SA          W, 6-5      Bunz (5, 31)                  Houser (6, 25)             2,576
March 5  @ Utica  SOL, 3-4  Bachman (3, 30)            Eriksson (3, 32)           2,808                 

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date        Opp.            Site                               Time       Broadcast
March 9   @ Rochester Blue Cross Arena          4:05 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 11 SA                Cox Center                    7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 14 GR                Cox Center                    7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 15 GR                Cox Center                    7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 21 @ Texas       Cedar Park Center         7:30 pm   KXY 96.1 FM 


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