BARONS GAME NOTES - JUNE 5
By Jim Byers, on 06/05/2013
(5) Oklahoma City Barons (3) at Grand Rapids Griffins, Game 7
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TONIGHT: A series previously tied 1-1 and 2-2 is even at 3-3 heading into tonight’s 7th and deciding game of the Western Conference Finals between the Barons and Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) at Van Andel Arena. It’s the first Game 7 in Barons franchise history. The winner will face the Syracuse Crunch in the Calder Cup Finals starting Saturday in Syracuse. OKC forced the deciding game by rallying with 3 third-period goals, the tying and winning tallies 1:22 apart, in the final 2:27 of last night’s 4-3 win. The teams have split 10 meetings including the regular season.
OFF THE TOP: The Barons are 3-0 this season when facing elimination and last night became the fourth team in AHL history to win 3 road elimination games in a single post-season. They beat the Charlotte Checkers on consecutive nights at Time Warner Cable Arena in Games 4 and 5 of the opening round. This is the longest series in OKC’s 3 seasons of Calder Cup play. The only other series to reach 6 games was a first-round matchup with Hamilton in 2011, which the Bulldogs won 4-2. Game 5 of the Charlotte series, a 6-2 OKC win, was the first winner-take-all game in Barons’ history. OKC is 5-3 on the road and 5-3 at home this post-season. Only 2 of OKC’s 10 playoff wins have been by 1 goal and Anton Lander has scored the winner in each. He tallied an overtime marker in a 2-1 decision May 9 at Texas (Game 1 of the second round). Last night, he tipped a Randy Jones shot with 1:05 left in regulation. The Barons are 2-3 in 1-goal games and 8-3 in contests decided by 2 or more this post-season.
DANIS’ DENIAL: Yann Danis stopped a Tomas Jurco penalty shot with 8:38 remaining in last night’s third period and the Barons trailing 3-2. It was the third penalty shot of the AHL post-season and the first one stopped. Springfield’s Blake Parlett and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Chad Kolarik each scored in earlier rounds. It marked the second playoff penalty shot in Barons history. Martin Gerber denied Hamilton’s Gabriel Dumont on April 14, 2011 at Copps Coliseum. OKC did not face a penalty shot during the 2012-13 regular season.
LAST NIGHT’S LEFTOVERS: The Barons snapped Petr Mrazek’s shutout streak at 175 minutes, 32 seconds when Mark Arcobello scored on a 2-man advantage at 13:54 of last night’s first period. OKC had gone 8 full periods and parts of 2 others without scoring off Mrazek, tallying just an empty-net goal on Wednesday in that span. The consecutive shutouts on Saturday and Sunday marked just the second time in franchise history the Barons had been blanked in back-to-back games, joining Nov. 4 and Nov. 9 of this season at San Antonio and Abbotsford. Anton Lander returned from a 7-game injury absence to score the winning goal and add 2 assists. He has 5 goals, 3 assists and is +7 in 7 playoff games. Randy Jones regained the Calder Cup plus-minus lead with a +2 last night and owns a +16 rating for the post-season. Grand Rapids out-shot OKC 36-30 last night, the first time the Barons had been out-shot in this series. OKC has amassed 28 or more shots in 10 straight games, going 6-4 in that time.
ARCOBELLO’S DOZEN: Mark Arcobello’s 2 goals last night moved him back into sole possession of the playoff goal lead with 12. His first-period goal was his first power play tally of the playoffs. Arcobello’s 19 playoff points place him second in the league, 1 behind Syracuse’s Ondrej Palat. Arcobello has had 9-game point and 5-game goal streaks during these playoffs. The point streak, snapped in Game 3, was the longest in Calder Cup play since Hershey’s Keith Aucoin recorded a point in 12 straight from April 14-May 17, 2010. Arcobello’s 5-game goal streak, which ended in Game 1 of this series, was the longest in Calder Cup play since 2011.
PLAYOFF PATTER: Toni Rajala leads the Calder Cup playoffs with 65 shots, 7 more than the Griffins’ Tomas Tatar. OKC is 12-0-0-0 (regular season and playoffs) when Jonathan Cheechoo scores a goal and 21-3-0-0 when he registers a point. OKC is 32-for-35 (91.4%) on the penalty kill in its 10 Calder Cup wins and 18-for-27 (66.7%) on the PK in its 6 losses. In this series, OKC is 2-for-27 on the power play and 15-for-19 on the penalty kill.
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