BARONS GAME NOTES - DECEMBER 9
By Jim Byers,
Oklahoma City Barons (11-7-1-2) at San Antonio Rampage (9-11-0-3)
TODAY: The Barons wrap up a 7-game road swing with the second of consecutive games at the San Antonio Rampage (Florida Panthers). This afternoon’s game is the fourth of 12 meetings between the teams this season. San Antonio has won the last 2 and leads the series 2-1, scoring with 21.1 seconds left last night to secure their first lead of the game and a 4-3 win. OKC is 3-2-0-1 so far during their longest road stretch this season. The Barons are fourth in the South Division, 3 points back of first. San Antonio has won 3 straight, 5 of 6 and is 4 points behind OKC.
OFF THE TOP: The Barons have dropped consecutive games in regulation for just the second time this season. Their 0-2-0-1 mark in the last 3 equals their longest winless drought of 2012-13. The consecutive road losses bookend a season-high 7-day break without playing and follow a stretch where the Barons earned a standing point in 8 straight (6-0-1-1), one shy of the club record. Each of the last 2 games has been a 4-3 final. OKC has identical 1-3-0-1 records when scoring 3 goals or allowing 4. By going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill last night, the Barons have killed 39 of their last 44 times short spanning the past 10 games, an 88.6 percent rate. OKC plays its first home game since Nov. 17 on Tuesday against Peoria. After today, 7 of the 9 remaining games in December will take place at the Cox Center.
MESSIN’ WITH TEXAS: OKC is in a stretch where 13 of 14 games are against teams based in Texas. The Texas-heavy slate runs from Nov. 29-Jan. 1. The only break is Tuesday’s home game against Peoria, the only visit by the Rivermen to the Cox Center this season. Of OKC’s 76 games, 36 are against Texas clubs. The Barons are a combined 4-4-0-2 through the first 10 games against the three Texas-based teams.
POINT LEADERS: OKC has the AHL’s top two point scorers in Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle. Schultz leads the AHL with 32 points, on 11 goals and a league-leading 21 assists. Schultz has collected multiple points in 11 of 21 games played. He has at least 1 point in 19 of 21 Barons games and the only games where he was held off the scoresheet were opposing shutouts. Jordan Eberle is second in the AHL with 28 points, 13 goals and 15 assists. Eberle had a goal and Schultz an assist last night.
EBERLE, SCHULTZ RECOGNIZED: Jordan Eberle is the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for November, marking the second straight month a Baron has won that award. Justin Schultz took home the honor for October. Last month, Eberle led all November scorers with 10 goals, 21 points and a +13 rating in 13 games, including 7 multi-point games. Schultz is the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for November. He maintained his scoring lead last month with 5 goals, 14 assists and a +10 rating in 13 games.
MORE SCHULTZ: Justin Schultz brings a franchise record-equaling 10-game point streak into today. He has 5 goals and 12 assists during the current streak, which began Nov. 10. Schultz also collected points in each of his first 9 games this season. His 10-game run is the second-longest point streak in the AHL this season behind Syracuse’s Richard Panik, who had a 12-gamer halted Dec. 2. Schultz matches Alex Giroux, who had points in 10 straight from Feb. 27-Apr. 8, 2011; and Josh Green, Dec. 27, 2011-Feb. 11, 2012.
OFF THE HOP: Anton Lander’s goal 11 seconds into last night’s game was the fastest from the start of a contest in Barons history, eclipsing the old mark of 12 seconds by Ryan Keller on Jan. 4, 2012 at Lake Erie. While Lander has the quickest goal from the start of a game in club annals, Jordan Eberle (third period Nov. 3, 2012) and Colin McDonald (second period March 11, 2011) share the club mark for the fastest goal from the outset of any period at 10 seconds.
STACKING THE DECK: The Barons signed second-year defenseman Nathan Deck to a PTO on Monday and he made his AHL debut last night, earning his first AHL point, an assist, on his first shift last night on Anton Lander’s goal 11 seconds after the opening faceoff. Deck has spent his brief career with Stockton of the ECHL. This season, he led Thunder defensemen with 5 goals and 12 assists in 19 games.
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