BARONS GAME NOTES - OCTOBER 4
By Jim Byers,
Charlotte Checkers at Oklahoma City Barons
Barons Game 1 | Home Game 1 | AHL Game 2
Oct. 4, 2013, 7 pm CDT | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM, okcbarons.com
AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1011106-43.pdf&client_code=ahl
TONIGHT: The Barons open their fourth season with the first of back-to-back home games against the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes). These West Division rivals meet 12 times this season. They split 8 regular-season meetings last year, with one of Charlotte’s wins in OT. The Barons and Checkers also faced off in a best-of-5, first round Calder Cup playoff series. OKC rallied from a 2-1 series deficit to win the final two at Time Warner Cable Arena, 8-1 and 6-2. All-time, OKC is 7-7-1-1 against Charlotte in the regular season, 2-5-1-0 at the Cox Center.
ROSTER NOTES: The official opening-day roster consists of 27 players: 16 forwards, 9 defensemen and 2 goaltenders. Eleven players on the opening roster played at least 1 game for the Barons last season. Linus Omark did not play for OKC last year, but spent time with the Barons in 2010-11 and 2011-12. By AHL roster standards, the veterans are: Omark, Ryan Hamilton, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager, Matthew Ford and Derek Nesbitt.
FOR OPENERS: This is the fourth opening night in Barons’ history and the second time they’ve begun the season at home. In the 2010-11 campaign, OKC dropped its first game to the Houston Aeros, 6-1 in the Cox Center. In 2011-12, The Barons sustained a 7-0 loss in the opener against the Texas Stars at Cedar Park Center, with current Baron Richard Bachman making 21 saves in net for Texas. Last season, the Barons visited Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for the opener and fell to Lake Erie, 2-1.
BEHIND THE BENCH: Todd Nelson returns for his fourth season as OKC’s head coach. The 44-year-old native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, has a 3-year record of 125-84-23 behind the Barons’ bench, a .588 point percentage. Assistant coaches Gerry Fleming and Rocky Thompson each return for their fourth seasons in OKC, as does equipment manager Matt Mitchell. Back for their second seasons are assistant equipment manager Al Oman and strength and conditioning coach Kevin Hanlon. Josh Bennett begins his first season as OKC’s athletic trainer after working most recently for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks.
PRE-SEASONING: The Barons traveled to Cedar Park, Texas for a pair of pre-season games last weekend and despite never trailing during actual playing time in either contest came away with overtime and shootout losses. The Texas Stars topped the Barons 3-2 in OT on Friday, while San Antonio rallied for a 2-1 shootout win on Saturday.
DIVISION DANCE: Three Western Conference teams switched divisions this off-season, as the Barons’ division added Abbotsford and lost the Houston Aeros, who moved to Des Moines to become the Iowa Wild. OKC’s division is known as the West this season. The Wild assume a spot in the Midwest Division, which had a vacancy when the Peoria Rivermen ceased operations and relocated to Utica, N.Y, to become the Comets. Utica is affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks, while the Chicago Wolves have teamed with St. Louis.
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (Saves) Opp. Goalie (Saves)
Sept. 27 @ Tex OTL, 2-3 Roy (19 SV) / Bunz (22 SV, L) Campbell (26)
Sept. 28 @ SA* SOL, 1-2 Bachman (10 SV) / Rimmer (18) Grumet-Morris (21)
*Game Played at Cedar Park Center
Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Oct. 5 Charlotte Cox Center 7:00 pm AM 1340
Oct. 12 @ Iowa Wells Fargo Arena 7:05 pm KXY 96.1 FM
Oct. 13 @ Iowa Wells Fargo Arena 4:05 pm KXY 96.1 FM
Oct. 15 Texas Cox Center 7:00 pm KXY 96.1 FM
Oct. 18 Abbotsford Cox Center 7:00 pm KXY 96.1 FM
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