BARONS GAME NOTES - APRIL 19
By Jim Byers,
Abbotsford Heat (34-30-4-6) at Oklahoma City Barons (37-25-2-9)
AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1010976-40.pdf&client_code=ahl
TONIGHT: The Barons begin the final weekend of the regular season with the first of 3 straight home games, starting with back-to-back contests against the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames). Tonight is the first meeting between the teams in slightly more than 5 months, when the Barons visited Abbotsford and were blanked in the first game 4-0 on Nov. 9 before taking an overtime decision 2-1 the next night. OKC is 7th in the Western Conference with 85 points, 1 back of Houston and Rochester and 2 points up on Milwaukee and Rockford. Abbotsford has 78 points.
OFF THE TOP: Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Toronto halted the Barons’ franchise-record 11-game road unbeaten streak and finished OKC’s road schedule at 18-14-0-6. OKC was 9-0-0-2 in the previous 11 road games before Tuesday. Since returning from his latest stint with the Edmonton Oilers in mid-March, Danis 8-2-3 with a 1.82 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. The Barons have allowed 3 goals or fewer in 16 straight games, going 10-3-0-3 during that run. OKC is 33-11-0-4 when allowing 3 or fewer. The Barons have earned at least 1 standing point in 17 of the last 22 games, going 13-5-0-4. OKC is 8-0-0-0 when Jonathan Cheechoo scores a goal and 12-1-0-0 when he has a point.
SPECIALTIES: The Barons have not allowed a power play goal in 13 of the last 14 games, going 37-for-38 on the penalty kill in that stretch dating to March 19. The Barons’ PK percentage has risen from 76.2 prior to the March 19 game to its current 78.8. The Barons own the league’s No 2 power play percentage at 21.1, one-hundredths of a point behind Texas. OKC is 25-11-2-3 when scoring at least 1 power play goal and 13-4-1-0 when notching 2 or more.
ALL THINGS SHOTS: Toronto out-shot theBarons 32-31 on Tuesday, ending a stretch of 11 straight games where the Barons out-shot the opposition. OKC went 8-1-0-2 in its previous 11. OKC has limited its opposition to 28 shots or fewer in 11 of the last 13 games. For the season, the Barons have out-shot the opponent in the first period by 50 shots (759-709) and in the second period by 100 shots, 774-674. OKC’s 81 goals in the second period are tied for the 3rd-most with Syracuse, behind Manchester (83) and Grand Rapids (82).
DAVIDSON HONORED: Rookie defenseman Brandon Davidson has been named the 2013 recipient of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey. The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities. Davidson was less than a month into his first season of professional hockey when it was announced on Nov. 1 that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and required immediate treatment. He underwent successful surgery and chemotherapy, began skating with the Barons again in January and made his return to the lineup on Feb. 8.
SHORE FOR SCHULTZ: Justin Schultz is the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2012-13 season as voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities. Schultz is the first rookie in the 55-year history of the Eddie Shore Award to win the honor. He played 34 games to start the season and still leads all AHL defensemen in goals (18) and points (48).
PIVOTAL PERFORMERS: Mark Arcobello has multiple points in 3 of the past 5 games, totaling 2 goals and 6 assists in that span. Arcobello tops the Barons with 66 points, including 22 goals, and his point total is tied for 4th in the AHL. Arcobello, the club’s all-time leader with 131 points in 3 seasons, enters the regular season’s final 3 games with the 3rd-highest single-season point total in Barons’ history, trailing only Alexandre Giroux (78) and Brad Moran (72) from the 2010-11 campaign. Martin Marincin is in a multiple-way tie for 7th in the AHL in plus-minus at +21. Since Jan. 11, when he was recalled from ECHL Stockton for his second AHL stint, Toni Rajala is tied for 3rd in the AHL with 39 points, including 14 goals. For the season, counting 5 games with the Barons in late November, Rajala has 41 points (15G, 26A) in 43 games, in addition to a +17 rating.
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