By Jim Byers, on 03/29/2014

Oklahoma City Barons (30-27-2-7) at Charlotte Checkers (34-30-1-2)     
Barons Game 67  |  Road Game 35  |  AHL Game 996
March 29, 2014, 6:00 pm CDT  | Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM,
 Media Kit Link:

TONIGHT: The Barons open a set of back-to-back games with the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) in the ninth of 12 meetings between the West Division rivals. Charlotte won the first 6 head-to-head matchups, but the Barons swept a 2-game set the last time the teams met Feb. 7-9. The teams have split 4 games at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Barons enter tonight off a 2-1 home win on Tuesday against the San Antonio Rampage. OKC is 10th in the Western Conference with 69 points, 1 behind Rochester and 2 back of the eighth-place Checkers. 

The Barons have guaranteed themselves a winning record for the third consecutive month. OKC is 6-3-1-1 in March with 2 games remaining, counting tonight. The Barons were 7-2-0-1 in February and 6-5-0-0 in January. The Barons are 14-5-1-2 in the last 22 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. Eleven of the last 12 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 7-3-1-1 in their last 12. In one-goal decisions, OKC is 15-12-2-7. Including tonight, the Barons have 10 games left, 4 on the road and 6 at home.

FORD FIESTA: Matthew Ford
has goals in 4 straight, the Barons’ longest goal streak of the year. Ford has tallied one goal in each of the last 4 contests. The 4-game streak matches the longest in club history, joining similar stretches from Mark Arcobello last season and Liam Reddox and Colin McDonald from 2010-11. Ford also has goals in 5 of the past 6 games, totaling 5 goals and 3 assists in that span.

Richard Bachman has started 20 of the past 22 Barons games, going 13-5-2 in that span. Bachman is fourth in the AHL in minutes (2515:45) while facing the most shots (1390) and making the most saves (1263). Ty Rimmer, a member of the Central Hockey League’s All-Rookie team, was recalled by the Barons from Quad City on Monday and backed up Bachman in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over San Antonio. Rimmer, who played 3 games for the Barons in December, was 18-14-5 with 3 shutouts, a 2.84 goals-against average and .906 save percentage for the Mallards. Frans Tuohimma, a seventh-round pick by Edmonton in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, was reassigned by the Oilers on Wednesday from his team in the SM-liiga in Finland and is on this trip. Tuohimma, 22, has spent most of the past 3 seasons in Finland.

and Roman Horak have missed the past 3 games  with upper and lower body injuries, respectively. Neither is on this 2-game trip to Charlotte. Kale Kessy has an upper-body injury and also did not accompany the team to Charlotte.

is tied for fourth in points among AHL defensemen with 45, on 11 goals and 34 assists. He already owns the club record for assists in a season by a defenseman (34), surpassing Justin Schultz’s 30 last season. Hunt is closing in on the franchise record for points in a season by a defenseman (48), set in 34 games by Schultz during his Eddie Shore Defenseman of the Year campaign last season.

AHL point leaders since Feb. 2:
Player                        Team      GP      G       A         PTS
1      Chris Terry               CHA        24       13      17       30
T2    Mark Arcobello        OKC       15       10      18       28
T2    Zach Boychuk          CHA        24       10      18       28
4      Alex Khokhlachev   PRO       21       9        18       27
5      Brad Hunt                OKC       21       7        18       25
T6    Roman Horak          OKC       18       10      13       23
T6    Brett Sutter                CHA        24       10      13       23

Last 5 Games:
Date       Opp.      Result     OKC Goalie (GA, SV) Opp. Goalie              Attn.
Mar. 14   GR         L, 2-3       Bachman (3, 26)            McCollum (2, 24)         3,294
Mar. 15   GR         L, 3-4       Bachman (4, 24)            McCollum (3, 27)         4,494
Mar. 21   @ Texas OTL, 3-4   Bachman (4, 38)            Nilstorp (3, 34)            5,808
Mar. 22   @ Texas L, 3-5       Brossoit (4, EN, 38)       Campbell (3, 31)         6,439
Mar. 25   SA          W, 2-1      Bachman (1, 33)            Houser (2, 23)             3,070                                 

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date        Opp.         Site                                  Time       Broadcast
Mar. 30    @ Cha       Time Warner Cable Arena 12:30 pm KXY 96.1 FM
April 2      Hamilton    Cox Center                       7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 5      Cha           Cox Center                       7:00 pm   TBA
April 6      Cha           Cox Center                       4:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 11    @ Abb       Sports/Entertainment Ctr   9:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM

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