By Jim Byers, on 02/28/2014

Rockford IceHogs (29-21-4-3) at Oklahoma City Barons (23-24-1-6)     
Barons Game 55  |  Home Game 26 |  AHL Game 817
Feb. 28, 2014, 7:00 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM,
 Media Kit Link:

The Barons begin a set of 3 home games in 3 days with the first of back-to-back matchups with the Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks). This is the sixth and final 3-in-3 for the Barons this season. OKC enters tonight off back-to-back losses in Grand Rapids and Toronto last weekend, defeats that halted OKC’s club-record 8-game unbeaten streak. OKC (53 points, 11th in the Western Conference) is 0-1-0-1 against Rockford this season. The IceHogs have won 5 straight, 9 out of 10 (9-0-0-1) and 11 of 13 (11-1-0-1). They’re 6th in the conference with 65 points.

The Barons enters tonight’s game on a season-high 5-game home unbeaten streak at 4-0-0-1. They had won 4 straight at the Cox Center before a 5-4 shootout loss in their last home contest Feb. 15 vs. Lake Erie. OKC just finished a stretch featuring 9 of 12 games on the road. The Barons went 7-4-0-1 in that stretch, which included a season-high 6-game winning streak (Jan. 30-Feb. 14) and a club-record 8-game unbeaten streak (7-0-0-1) from Jan. 30-Feb. 21. Goaltender Richard Bachman has started 10 straight games, going 7-2-1 in that span with a 3.17 goals-against average and .908 save percentage (316 saves on 348 shots). Tyler Bunz has not appeared in a game since his most recall from ECHL Bakersfield on Jan. 28. The Barons are 2-3-0-0 in the opener of a 3-in-3 set.


A PIECE OF THE ROCK: All-time in the regular season, the Barons are 10-3-1-2 against the IceHogs, with a 3-2-1-1 mark at the Cox Center. The teams met at BMO Harris Bank Center on Dec. 13-14 in the last 2 games of a 6-game trip that included all 6 of the Barons’ scheduled visits to Chicago, Milwaukee and Rockford this season. The IceHogs defeated the Barons 4-3 on Dec. 13 on a go-ahead goal by the recently-traded Brad Winchester at 11:41 of the second period. All 7 goals in that game were scored in the first 31:41 of the contest. OKC’s Martin Marincin tied the rematch 4-4 with 2:21 remaining the next night, but the Hogs won a shootout 3-0 and took the decision 5-4 in what proved to be Linus Omark’s final game as a Baron. Those two games were the first losses for the Barons in club history at Rockford after wins in each of the first 7 meetings there.

ON THE HUNT: Brad Hunt
has 9 points in the past 4 games, tallying 3 goals and 6 assists. He brings a 5-game point streak into tonight (3 goals, 7 assists) and has points in 10 of the last 11 outings, collecting 4 goals and 12 assists in that time. Hunt recorded his first professional 2-goal game on Feb. 21 with a pair of power-play markers at Grand Rapids. Hunt enters tonight 7th in the AHL in defenseman scoring with 34 points. Seven of his 8 goals this season have come on the power play.

Mark Arcobello has points in all 6 games with OKC since being loaned by Edmonton Feb. 1. He has goals in 4 of the 6, totaling 4 goals and 8 assists for his AHL campaign so far. Arcobello, who spent the first 4 months of the season with the Oilers (4 goals, 14 assists in 41 games) has 4 multi-point games out of his 6 AHL efforts. Arcobello returned last weekend from the Olympic break, which caused him to miss 3 games. He finished last season tied for third in the AHL in points with 68.

Barons head coach Todd Nelson is 3 wins away from reaching 300 in his professional career. Nelson enters tonight’s game 297-167-54 in 7 seasons as a head coach at the American Hockey League and United Hockey League levels.

FABULOUS FEBRUARY: The Barons are 6-2-0-1 in February and have already matched their winningest month of the season (January, 6-5-0-0)
. OKC has some of the league’s top scorers for the month. Brad Hunt enters tonight tied for the third-most points in February with 14 (4G, 10A). Roman Horak is one notch below, tied with Charlotte’s Chris Terry with 13 points (7G, 6A). Mark Arcobello, in only 6 February games, enters tonight in a multiple-way tie for the fifth-most points (12) with 4 goals and 8 assists.

Top AHL scorers, February:
Player                Team          GP   G    A     Pts
Jeremy Morin     Rockford      10    9     8     17                            
Andy Miele         Portland       12    4     11    15
Brad Hunt          OKC            9      4     10    14
Mike Hoffman     Binghamton  8      8     6     14            
Colton Sceviour  Texas          12    4     10    14                            

Last 5 Games:
Date       Opp.      Result     OKC Goalie (GA, SV) Opp. Goalie             Attn.
Feb. 14   LE          W, 2-1       Bachman (1, 39)            Aittokallio (2, 32)        3,067
Feb. 15   LE          SOL, 4-5   Bachman (4, 33)            Aittokallio (4, 38)        4,524
Feb. 21   @ GR     W, 4-2       Bachman (2, 23)            McCollum (4, 24)        10,834
Feb. 22   @ GR     L, 3-4        Bachman (4, 33)            Mrazek (3, 36)            8,254
Feb. 23   @ Tor     L, 1-4        Bachman (4, 27)            Sparks (1, 38)            4,290

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.             Site                               Time       Broadcast
March 1  Rockford        Cox Center                    7:00 pm   KGHM 1340
March 2  SA                 Cox Center                    4:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 5  @ Utica          Memorial Auditorium      6:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 7  @ Hamilton    FirstOntario Centre        6:30 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 9  @ Rochester  Blue Cross Arena          4:05 pm   KXY 96.1 FM

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