By Jim Byers, on 04/06/2014

Charlotte Checkers (36-32-1-2) at Oklahoma City Barons (32-27-2-9)     

 Barons Game 71  |  Home Game 35  |  AHL Game 1055
April 6, 2014, 4:00 pm CDT  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM,
AHL Media Kit:

TODAY: The Barons wrap up the 12-game season series with the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes). OKC defeated Charlotte 1-0 last night on strength of 31 saves from Richard Bachman to improve to 3-6-0-2 against the Checkers this season, 1-4-0-0 at the Cox Center. The Barons are unbeaten in regulation in 5 straight, with 3 wins and 2 shootout losses in that time. OKC shares eighth place (in terms of points) in the Western Conference with Charlotte and Rockford, all of whom have 75. Charlotte has played one more game than the Barons and Rockford.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons have won 3 straight at home. A win today would match their longest home winning streak of the year, set on two previous occasions, most recently from Feb. 28-March 11. Their 1-0 win last night was their second shutout of the season and both have been turned in by Richard Bachman. He also blanked the Texas Stars Dec. 20 on a club-record (for a shutout) 39 saves in a 2-0 final. It was the Barons’ first regular-season 1-0 win since April 19, 2013, when Yann Danis blanked the Abbotsford Heat at the Cox Center with 24 saves. After scoring the go-ahead and decisive goal during the shootout in Wednesday’s 5-4 win over Hamilton, C.J. Stretch had the only goal last night.

GOOD STARTS: The Barons have won the first 2 games in each of the last 4 months, opening January, February, March and April with 2-0 records. March was the Barons’ third consecutive winning month. OKC was 6-3-1-3 in March after going 7-2-0-1 in February and 6-5-0-0 in January. The Barons are 16-5-1-4 in the last 26 games dating to Jan. 30 and in that time established the two longest unbeaten streaks in club history: an 8-game string without a regulation or overtime loss from Jan. 30-Feb. 21 and a 7-game unbeaten stretch from Feb. 28-March 11. Fifteen of the last 16 Barons games have been decided by one goal (or 1 goal plus an empty-netter), with the exception a 5-2 win over San Antonio March 11 in Oklahoma City. The Barons are 9-3-1-3 in their last 16. In one-goal decisions, OKC is 17-12-2-9. Including today, the Barons have 6 games left, 2 on the road at Abbotsford and 4 at home.

HUNT TIES SCHULTZ: Brad Hunt earned an assist last night, giving him 48 points. That ties him with 2013 AHL Defenseman of the Year Justin Schultz for the club record in points by a defenseman in a season. Hunt enters today’s play fifth in points among AHL blueliners. He already owns the Barons’ record for assists in a season by a defenseman with 37. Hunt’s 48 points tied him for the team lead in scoring with Anton Lander, who is currently on recall to Edmonton.

ANSWERING THE BELL: Richard Bachman has started 24 of the past 26 Barons games, going 15-5-4 in that span. Bachman is third in the AHL in minutes (2769:26) while facing the most shots (1520) and making the most saves (1383).

KIDDIE CORPS: Five players have made their professional debuts in Barons uniforms in the past 2 games: Greg Chase and Jujhar Khaira on Wednesday and Jordan Oesterle, Kellen Jones and Connor Jones last night. Khaira was reassigned from Everett of the WHL as an Oiler draftee under an NHL contract, while Chase, Oesterle and the Jones twins are on Amateur Tryouts. Three more players joined the Barons this week on ATOs but have yet to debut: Graeme Craig, Joshua Winquist and Mitch Holmberg.

HORAK IS BACK: After missing 6 games with a lower-body injury, Roman Horak returned to the lineup last night. Acquired Nov. 8 from the Calgary Flames in a 4-player trade, Horak has 20 goals and 27 assists in 61 games this season between OKC and Abbotsford. With the Barons, Horak has totaled 18 goals, 22 assists and a +13 rating.

Last 5 Games:
Date       Opp.      Result     OKC Goalie (GA, SV) Opp. Goalie              Attn.
Mar. 25   SA          W, 2-1      Bachman (1, 33)            Houser (2, 23)             3,070
Mar. 29   @ Cha    SOL, 2-3  Bachman (2, 30)            Muse (2, 32)               8,232
Mar. 30   @ Cha    SOL, 4-5  Bachman (4, 35)            Murphy / Muse (W)      8,011
April 2     Ham       SOW, 5-4 Bachman (4, 24)            Mayer (4, 35)              2,852
April 5     Cha        W, 1-0      Bachman (0, 31)            Muse (1, 34)               3,957                                 
Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date        Opp.         Site                                  Time       Broadcast
April 11    @ Abb       Entertainment/Sports Ctr   9:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 13    @ Abb       Entertainment/Sports Ctr   3:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 16    Texas        Cox Center                       7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 18    Iowa          Cox Center                       7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 19    Iowa          Cox Center                       7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM   

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