By Jim Byers, on 03/19/2013

Rochester Americans (32-24-3-1) at Oklahoma City Barons (29-22-2-6)  

Barons Game 60  |  Home Game 31 |  AHL Game 926
March 19, 2013, 7 pm CDT  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:
TONIGHT: The Rochester Americans, top affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, make their only regular-season visit to the Cox Center as the Barons return from a 5-day break. This is the first of 2 meetings this season, with the other at Blue Cross Arena on April 12. The teams split 4 games last season with the road team winning each. The Amerks handed the Barons 4-3 OT and shootout losses at the Cox Center, while OKC delivered 5-2 and 4-2 wins in Rochester. OKC has won 2 in a row and is tied for 9th in the Western Conference with 66 points. Rochester is 6th with 68.
OFF THE TOP: The Barons have at least 1 standing point in 14 of their last 20 games, going 11-6-0-3 in that span. They’re 6-3-0-1 in their last 10. OKC returns tonight from a 5-day break in the schedule after defeating San Antonio 3-2 in a shootout on Wednesday in the most recent game. The Barons have won 2 straight, both at AT&T Center in San Antonio, since their last home game March 9 vs. Rockford. OKC is 17-9-2-2 at home, with a .633 home standing point percentage tied for 9th in the AHL. The Barons are 4-2-0-1 in March, but have regulation and shootout losses in their only home contests this month against Rockford.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: The Western Conference playoff race, particularly for spots 5-8, is wide open with 5 weeks remaining in the regular season. Entering this week, 4 points separate 7 teams from No. 5 Houston to No. 11 Rockford. Houston has 70 points, 2 more than No. 6 Rochester (68). Chicago and Abbotsford share 7th in terms of points with 67. The Barons are tied for 9th in the conference with 66 points, joined by Milwaukee and Rockford. OKC is ahead of Milwaukee and Rockford in standing point percentage. The Barons have played fewer games than all Western Conference teams except Chicago, which has also completed 59 games. OKC has 17 games remaining, 8 at home and 9 on the road, with 10 of those against the teams immediately above them in the standings (Rochester, Chicago, Abbotsford, Houston).
ROSTER SHUFFLE: Defenseman Brett Clark was released from his AHL contract on Wednesday when he secured an NHL pact from the Minnesota Wild, an agreed-upon stipulation of his signing in January with the Barons. Clark had 1 goal, 16 assists and a +7 rating in 18 Barons games. Center Anton Lander was activated from Edmonton’s IR on March 12 and loaned to the Barons. Goaltender Yann Danis was returned on loan to OKC March 13 for his third AHL stint of the season. Olivier Roy was reassigned to Stockton to make room for Danis. Veteran winger Ben Eager, a member of the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup championship team, cleared waivers and was assigned to the Barons March 15.
MCFAULL SIGNS: The Barons signed 20-year-old defenseman Kendall McFaull to an AHL contract yesterday. McFaull just completed a 4-year career with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL, where he was a captain the past 2 seasons. This year, McFaull scored 5 goals while setting career highs in games (71), assists (15) and points (20).
PIVOTAL PERFORMANCES: Mark Arcobello saw a franchise record-equaling 4-game goal streak end on Wednesday, but he secured an assist for a 5-game point streak. Toni Rajala has a 6-game point streak (2G, 6A), the longest of his rookie AHL season. Rajala had points in 13 straight as a member of the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL earlier this season. Philippe Cornet has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 21 games since rejoining the Barons from ECHL Stockton for a second time this season on Jan. 12. Jonathan Cheechoo has 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) in 19 games with the Barons since joining the team Jan. 23. After amassing his first 20 points in 7 multi-point games, Cheechoo finally had a one-point game on Wednesday at San Antonio with an assist.
BROADCAST NOTE: The radio location for Saturday’s broadcast from San Antonio is undetermined because of Oklahoma State’s participation in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Barons’ game will air on either flagship KXY 96. FM or AM 1340 The Game, depending on the Cowboys’ tournament status.
Last 5 Games:
Date        Opp.     Result    OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie               Attn. 
March 4   @ Cha   W, 4-2      Hovinen (2, 16)             Muse (4, 21)                 3,686
March 8   Rfd        SOL, 3-4  Hovinen (3, 34)             Hutton (3, 12)               3,758
March 9   Rfd        L, 4-7       Hovinen (6, EN, 29)      Karlsson (4, 27)            4,411 
March 10 @ SA     W, 3-2      Roy (2, 37)                   Grumet-Morris (3, 22)    6,858
March 13 @ SA     SOW, 3-2 Roy (2, 27)                   Grumet-Morris (2, 29)    5,606
Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date         Opp.            Site                            Time     Broadcast
March 22   Houston        Cox Center                  7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 23   San Antonio  AT&T Center               7:00      TBA
March 27   Chicago        Allstate Arena             7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 29   Peoria           Carver Arena               7:05      KXY 96.1 FM
March 30   Rockford       BMO Harris Bank Ctr.  7:05      KXY 96.1 FM    

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