By Jim Byers, on 02/23/2013

Oklahoma City Barons (24-19-2-5) at Houston Aeros (27-20-4-3)

Barons Game 51 | Road Game 24 | AHL Game 780
Feb. 23, 2013, 7:05 pm CST | Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:

TONIGHT: The Barons and Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild) meet at the Toyota Center in the finale of a home-and-home series. The Barons held on for a 4-3 win in the opener at OKC last night. This is the 9th of 12 meetings in the season series. OKC is 2-3-0-3 so far, with both wins coming at the Cox Center. The Barons have 2 losses and 2 shootout defeats against the Aeros in Houston this season. OKC has 55 points, 10th in the Western Conference, 2 points back of and 8th-place tie between Rochester and Chicago. Houston has 61 points, 5th in the conference.

Last night’s 4-3 win was the Barons’ fourth straight at home, a season high. The Barons have at least 1 standing point in 8 of the last 11 games, going 6-3-0-2 in that time. OKC has played 50 games, 4 fewer than Houston, which leads the Barons in the conference standings 61-55. February is OKC’s lightest full month of the season with 8 games, all in Oklahoma or Texas. With a 4-1-0-1 mark this month, the Barons have already surpassed their January win total, when they went 3-8-1-1. This weekend wraps up a stretch of 4 consecutive 2-game weeks, with each featuring back-to-back games against the same team. OKC is No. 1 in the AHL on the power play at 23.3 percent. The power play is 12-for-70 (17.1%) since Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall returned to the NHL. The Barons have allowed a 2-goal game by an individual in 5 straight: Luke Glendening and Gustav Nyquist of Grand Rapids Feb. 8-9; Mike Hedden and Matt Fraser of Texas Feb. 15-16 and David McIntyre of Houston last night.

In the all-time regular season history between OKC and Houston, the Barons are 10-9-1-6, with a 4-5-0-4 mark at the Toyota Center. Houston won 7 of 8 meetings during the 2010-11 season (3 by shootout) before OKC took 9 out of 10 matchups last season (OKC won 3 shootouts and Houston 1). This season, Houston has won 6 of 8 games, 3 via shootout. Only 1 of 26 all-time regular season games between these teams has been decided in overtime. On Oct. 15, 2010, in the second game between these clubs during the Barons’ inaugural season, Houston’s Casey Wellman scored with 18 seconds left in OT to send the Aeros to a 2-1 win at the Cox Center. OKC is 8-for-31 on the man advantage this season against Houston (25.8), while the Aeros are 9-for-34 (26.5) against the Barons.

CHEECHOO HEATS UP: Former NHL All-Star and Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner Jonathan Cheechoo recorded a goal and 2 assists last night, his fifth multi-point game in 10 Barons contests since signing a PTO last month. Cheechoo is tied for the second-most points in the AHL (15) since Jan. 23, when he made his Barons debut, with 6 goals and 9 assists. Providence’s Torey Krug leads the AHL since Jan. 23 with 16 points. With 13 points in 5 home games, Cheechoo is tied with Teemu Hartikainen for sixth on the team in home scoring for the season and is the second-leading home point producer among active Barons behind Mark Arcobello’s 26 points in 26 home games.

Jordan Eberle maintains the AHL scoring lead with 51 points and Justin Schultz is tied for second with 48 despite neither playing for the Barons since Jan. 5. Eberle was surpassed for the goal lead on Saturday when Providence’s Jamie Tardif scored his 26th. Syracuse’s Tyler Johnson has also reached 26 goals in the past week. Schultz (25) and Eberle (23) remain second and third in the AHL in power play points.

ODDS AND ENDS: Philippe Cornet has 6 goals and 5 assists in the last 8 games, accounting for all but 1 of his 12 AHL points this season...Cornet has spent 2 stints with ECHL Stockton this season in addition to his 20 OKC games... OKC is 10-3-1-1 on Saturday this season...the Barons have out-scored the opposition in their last 4 home games (all wins) by a combined total of 22-14...the Barons’ home record of 16-8-2-1 puts them in a tie for the third-most standing points at home (35)...their .648 home standing point percentage is tied for ninth in the league...only 5 AHL clubs, all in the Eastern Conference (St. John’s, Worcester, Albany, Adirondack and Hershey) have sub-.500 point percentages at home.

Last 5 Games:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
Feb. 8 GR W, 4-3 Hovinen (3, 16) McCollum (4, 33) 3,394
Feb. 9 GR W, 7-5 Danis (5, 22) McCollum (6, 22) 4,277
Feb. 15 @ Tex SOL, 3-4 Hovinen (3, 38) Campbell (3, 28) 5,428
Feb. 16 @ Tex L, 0-4 Hovinen (4, 23) Campbell (0, 20) 6,863
Feb. 22 Hou W, 4-3 Danis (3, 23) Hackett (4, 26) 3,746

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Feb. 26 Texas Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 2 Texas Cedar Park Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 3 Charlotte Time Warner Cable Arena 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 4 Charlotte Time Warner Cable Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 8 Rockford Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM

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