By Jim Byers, on 03/05/2014

Oklahoma City Barons (26-24-1-6) at Utica Comets (23-26-3-4)
Barons Game 58  |  Road Game 30 |  AHL Game 849
March 5, 2014, 6:00 pm CST  | Utica Memorial Auditorium, Utica, NY
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM,

TONIGHT: The Barons make their first visit to Utica Memorial Auditorium to conclude the 2-game season series with the Comets (Vancouver Canucks). OKC received a game-tying goal from Ryan Hamilton with 4 seconds remaining on Jan. 9 in the other meeting between the teams. The Barons’ Taylor Fedun put home the winner 17 seconds into overtime for the fastest OT goal in Barons history in a 3-2 final. OKC has won 3 straight and is 10-2-0-1 in its last 13. The Barons are 9th in the Western Conference with 59 points, 3 back of Milwaukee. Utica is 14th with 53 points.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons are 2 games over .500 (regulation wins vs. regulation losses) for the first time this season at 26-24-1-6 after Sunday’s 6-5 win over San Antonio at the Cox Center. OKC is 2-0-0-0 in March, 9-2-0-1 in its last 12 and 15-7-0-1 since the first of the year. Tyler Bunz earned the win in net on Sunday, his second of the season and AHL career, by making 31 saves. Richard Bachman had started the previous 12 games, going 9-2-1 in that span. It was Bunz’s first appearance in a game since his most recent reassignment from ECHL Bakersfield on Jan. 28 and his first game action since a Jan. 25 start for the Condors. Since Feb. 2, when Mark Arcobello made his season debut with the Barons, OKC is 18-for-53 (34.0 percent) on the power play. The power play was tied for 11th in the AHL at 18.6 percent on Feb. 2 when Arcobello made his debut. Entering tonight, it’s tied for fourth at 21.8 (Arcobello has played 9 of 12 possible games since being loaned by Edmonton. He missed 3 games for the Olympic break).

AUTOMATIC ARCO: Mark Arcobello, the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending March 2, has points in all 9 games with OKC since being loaned by Edmonton in early February and has totaled 19 points as a Baron this season. His 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) are tied for the lead in the AHL dating to Feb. 2, when he played his first Barons game this season.  Arcobello’s 9-game point streak is the longest by a Baron this season and is one away from matching the club record of 10, set by Alexandre Giroux in 2011 and later equaled by Josh Green and Justin Schultz. Arcobello has goals in 7 of his 9 contests and has recorded 7 multi-point games. Arcobello spent the first 4 months of the season with the Oilers, collecting 4 goals and 14 assists in 41 games. He finished last season tied for third in the AHL in points with 68. In 3 games this past week, Arcobello had 3 goals (1 in each game), 4 assists and 8 shots while helping lead the Barons to 3 wins.

DAVIDSON’S TIMELY GOALS: Defenseman Brandon Davidson capped a 3-goal, third-period comeback in Sunday’s 6-5 win over San Antonio by scoring the tying and winning goals, the latter with 35.2 seconds remaining. They were Davidson’s first goals of the season and the third and fourth of the second-year pro’s AHL career. His two tallies last year were empty-netters. Davidson was the recipient of the 2013 Fred T. Hunt Memorial Trophy as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

HUNT STAYS HOT: Defenseman Brad Hunt has 13 points in the last 7 games, including at least 1 point in 12 of 14. Hunt is 6th in the AHL in defenseman scoring with 38 points.

NELSON HITS 300: Barons head coach Todd Nelson earned his 300th professional win in Sunday’s 6-5 decision over San Antonio. Nelson is 300-167-54 in 7 seasons as a head coach in the American Hockey League and United Hockey Leagues with the Barons and Muskegon Fury.

FABULOUS FEBRUARY: The Barons went 7-2-0-1 in February, their winningest month of the season. OKC had three players tie for third in the league in scoring for the month with 14 points: Brad Hunt, with 4 goals and 10 assists in 10 games; Mark Arcobello, 5 goals and 9 assists in 7 games; and Anton Lander, also 5 goals and 7 assists in 10 games.

Last 5 Games:
Date       Opp.      Result     OKC Goalie (GA, SV) Opp. Goalie              Attn.
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
Feb. 28   Rfd         OTW, 5-4  Bachman (4, 32)            LaBarbera (5, 32)       3,853
March 1  Rfd         W, 5-4      Bachman (4, 31)            Simpson/LaBarbera    3,158
March 2  SA          W, 6-5      Bunz (5, 31)                  Houser (6, 25)             2,576 

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date        Opp.            Site                               Time       Broadcast
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
March 11 SA                Cox Center                    7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 14 GR                Cox Center                    7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
March 15 GR                Cox Center                    7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM

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