BARONS GAME NOTES - NOVEMBER 30
By Jim Byers,
Oklahoma City Barons (11-5-1-2) at Houston Aeros (10-6-1-2)
TONIGHT: The Barons take on the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild) in the second of back-to-back games at the Toyota Center. Houston out-scored OKC in a 6-round shootout last night to win the first meeting of the season at the Toyota Center by a 2-1 final score. This is the fifth of 12 meetings between the South Division rivals. OKC is 1-1-0-2 against Houston, with the Aeros handing the Barons their only shootout defeats of the season. All-time, the Barons are 9-7-1-5 against the Aeros, with a 4-3-0-3 mark at Houston. The Aeros have won 4 straight and 5 of 6.
OFF THE TOP: Despite seeing a 5-game winning streak end last night, the Barons claimed a standing point for the eighth straight game. They are 6-0-1-1 dating to an overtime win at Abbotsford Nov. 10. OKC is 3-0-0-1 so far on a season-high 7-game road stretch. By extinguishing all 4 Houston power plays last night, the Barons have killed 32 of their last 35 times short spanning the past 8 games, a 91.4 percent rate. The Barons are 14-for-39 on the power play at home and 4-for-43 on the road, having been blanked in each of the last 3 games (0-for-12). OKC’s home power play percentage of 35.9 is No. 1 in the AHL. OKC has the AHL’s fourth-most standing points (25) and sixth-best standing point percentage (.658).
POINT RACE UPDATE: OKC has 3 of the AHL’s top 5 point scorers in Justin Schultz (1), Jordan Eberle (2) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (5). Schultz leads the AHL with 29 points, on 11 goals and a league-leading 18 assists. Schultz has collected multiple points in 10 of 19 games played. He has at least one point in 17 of 19 Barons games and the only games where he was held off the scoresheet were opposing shutouts. Schultz was the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October. Jordan Eberle is second in the AHL with 26 points, 11 goals and 15 assists. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is fifth in the league in points with 20 (8G, 12A).
POWER PLAYERS: OKC has the AHL’s top 2 power play point scorers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins leads the league in power play points with 12, on 3 goals and 9 assists. Justin Schultz (3G, 8A) is second in power play points with 11, while Jordan Eberle is tied for third with 10 points (2G, 8A on the power play).
PILING UP POINTS: Justin Schultz brings an 8-game point streak into tonight, during which he has 5 goals and 9 assists. Schultz had a 9-game point streak to begin the season, which is tied for second-best in the AHL behind Syracuse’s Richard Panik, owns an active 10-gamer. Jordan Eberle had a stretch of back-to-back 2-goal games stopped last night in addition to seeing a 4-game point streak halted. Eberle collected 5 goals and 5 assists during that streak. Taylor Hall saw a 4-game point streak (1G, 9A) end last night. Eberle and Hall each had multi-point efforts during all 4 games of their respective streaks.
HALL’S HARDWARE: Taylor Hall is the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 25. Last week, Hall had 1 goal (an eventual game-winner Nov. 21 at Texas) and 7 assists while +6 in 3 games. Hall is the second Baron to win the award this season, joining Justin Schultz (week ending Oct. 21).
MESSIN’ WITH TEXAS: Last night began a stretch extending to Jan. 1 during which 13 of 14 OKC games are against teams based in Texas. The only break is a Dec. 11 home game against Peoria, the only visit of the season by the Rivermen to the Cox Center. In all, 36 of OKC’s 76 games are against Texas clubs.
PLUSSES: Justin Schultz leads the league in plus-minus at +14. Martin Marincin is tied for third at +12. Jordan Eberle is part of a group sharing the fifth-best rating at +10.
HUNTER DEBUTS: The Barons recalled Eric Hunter from ECHL Stockton on Wednesday and he made his OKC debut last night, picking up 2 penalty minutes. Hunter, a second-year pro out of the University of Alberta who spent most of last year with Lake Erie, had 4 goals, 8 assists and was +11 (tied for the second-best mark in the league) in 16 Stockton games.
Last 5 Games:
Next 5 games (all times Central):
Dec. 15 San Antonio Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
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