By Jim Byers, on 01/11/2013

Charlotte Checkers (20-11-2-3) at Oklahoma City Barons (18-13-1-3)
Barons Game 36 | Home Game 18 | AHL Game 523
Jan. 11, 2013, 7 pm CST | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:
TONIGHT: The Barons open a 5-game homestand with the first of back-to-back games against the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes). This is the third of 8 regular-season meetings between the South Division rivals and the first in OKC. The Barons beat the Checkers 4-2 and 7-2 Nov. 24-25 at Charlotte. Tonight also begins a set of 3 games in 3 days for the Barons, who went 1-2-0-0 in a road 3-in-3 last weekend to wrap up a 4-game trip with 1 win and 3 defeats. OKC (40 points) is 4th in the South and 8th in the conference. Charlotte (45 points) leads the South.
OFF THE TOP: Tonight is the Barons’ first home game of 2013. OKC went 1-3-0-0 on a 4-game trip that ended with Sunday’s 6-3 loss at Chicago. The Barons have won 3 straight home games, a season high for consecutive home wins. OKC’s home record of 11-4-1-1 is fifth-best in the AHL by standing point percentage, .706. This is the fourth of 8 sets of 3 games in 3 days and the Barons’ second straight weekend featuring a 3-in-3. Their next 3-in-3 isn’t until early March. In the first leg of a 3-in-3, OKC is 2-1-0-0, winning at home Nov. 2 and Dec. 14 before falling last week at Grand Rapids. The Barons are 5-6-0-0 on Fridays.
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY: Jordan Eberle departed the AHL after Saturday’s game leading the league in points (51) and goals (25). Eberle was the back-to-back winner of CCM/AHL Player of the Month Awards for November and December. He collected points in each of his last 7 games, scoring 6 goals and 7 assists in that span. Justin Schultz, a rookie defenseman, heads to Edmonton leading the league in assists with 30 and power play points with 25 (Eberle was second with 23), while second overall in points with 48. Schultz departs the league 2 goals shy of matching the record for goals by an AHL rookie defenseman, set by John Slaney of Baltimore in 1992-93. The CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October, Schultz had multiple points in 17 of 34 games and compiled 10- and 9-game point streaks. Taylor Hall did not play until Nov. 2 while recovering from shoulder surgery. The first overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft had 34 points in 26 AHL games and left tied for sixth in the point race. Hall still leads the league with 9 power play goals.
FIRST FACTS: The Barons have allowed a first-period goal and trailed by a single tally after the opening period in back-to-back games after going 17 straight with a lead or tie at the first intermission. Prior to allowing a goal at Milwaukee on Saturday, the Barons had not surrendered a first-period tally in the previous 7 games. OKC has trailed the fewest times (5) after 1 period of any AHL team this season, going 2-2-1-0 in those games. The Barons’ 45 first-period goals are the most in the AHL. Springfield is second with 41.
SPECIAL ATTENTION: OKC is No. 1 in overall power play percentage at 26.1, with 40 goals in 153 opportunities. The Barons are 8-for-18 on the power play in their last 5 games and have a man advantage goal in 8 straight, during which they’re 13-for-35 (37.1%). OKC is also No. 1 in home power play percentage at 32.9. The Barons’ 23 home power play goals are more than the season total of 5 AHL clubs.
NEW FACES: The Barons signed defenseman Andrew Hotham to a PTO yesterday. Hotham is a second-year pro who spent 3 seasons in the OHL before playing 4 years at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, N.S., where he was a 3-time First-Team All Canadian and CIS National Champion. Hotham has split this season between Cincinnati and Wheeling of the ECHL, combining for 6 goals and 17 assists in 30 games. Hotham has previous AHL experience with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2 games last season) and Rochester (6 games in 2010-11). Kane Lafranchise joined OKC on a PTO last week and has yet to play a home game.
TIDBITS: Philippe Cornet, Toni Rajala and Ryan Martindale were reassigned from ECHL Stockton this week for their second OKC stints this season...Rajala has been named as a reserve for the Jan. 23 ECHL All-Star Game...Nathan Deck was chosen a starter for the game...Kristians Pelss is eligible to play after serving an ECHL suspension for an on-ice infraction...Antti Tyrvainen has been cleared to play after missing 21 games with a wrist injury...Taylor Fedun had a season-high 9 shots on goal among the 45 OKC put on Chicago’s net on Sunday...the team high this season is 10 by Taylor Hall Dec. 28 vs San Antonio.
Last 5 Games:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
Dec. 31 Texas W, 5-2 Danis (2, 42) Nilstorp (4, EN, 22) 4,976
Jan. 1 @ Hou L, 2-4 Danis (3, EN, 24) Hackett (2, 28) 5,419
Jan. 4 @ GR L, 2-5 Danis (L, 5, 14) / Roy Mrazek (2, 17) 7,452
Jan. 5 @ Mil SOW, 3-2 Roy (2, 15) Smith (2, 35) 3,685
Jan. 6 @ Chi L, 3-6 Danis (5, EN, 33) Climie (3, 42) 6,329
Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Jan. 12 Charlotte Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 13 Texas Cox Center 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 18 San Antonio Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 19 San Antonio Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 23 Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM

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