BARONS GAME NOTES - MAY 24
By Jim Byers,
(5) Oklahoma City Barons at (3) Grand Rapids Griffins
Calder Cup Playoffs | Series “N” Western Conference Finals | Game 1
May 24, 2013, 6 pm CDT | Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
OVERVIEW: A week and a day since eliminating top-seeded Texas, and winners of 3 straight and 6 of the last 7, the Barons return to Calder Cup playoff action with the opener of the Western Conference Finals against the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings). This best-of-7 series is being played with a 2-3-2 format, with the first 2 games and potentially the last 2 in Grand Rapids. OKC went 2-1-0-1 against Grand Rapids in the regular season, with both wins at the Cox Center. This is the first playoff meeting between these teams. All-time, OKC is 3-2-0-3 at Van Andel Arena.
OFF THE TOP: The Barons are in the Western Conference Finals for the second consecutive season. OKC reached this round by toppling No. 4 seed Charlotte 3 games to 2 in the first round, keyed by wins in each of the final 2 games of the series at Charlotte by a combined 14-3 margin. The Barons defeated the Texas Stars 4 games to 1 in the conference semis, splitting the first 2 games at Cedar Park Center before winning all 3 at the Cox Center. OKC out-scored Texas 16-4 in the last 3 games of that series to sit atop the Calder Cup playoffs in goals with 42 in 10 games. The Barons have an overtime win and a sudden-death loss in their previous series openers this spring. In 3 AHL seasons, the Barons are 2-4 in series openers.
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS: Mark Arcobello leads the Calder Cup playoffs in goals with 9, all of which have come at even strength. Arcobello’s 15 points tie him with Ondrej Palat of Syracuse for the league playoff lead. Arcobello has a goal in a club playoff-record 5 straight games and has at least 1 point in 7 straight, also a club post-season mark and the AHL’s second-longest this spring. Defensemen Garrett Stafford and Taylor Fedun each have goals in consecutive games (Fedun has recorded the game-winner in 2 straight). C.J. Stretch has a goal in 3 straight. Toni Rajala has a point in 9 of 10 Calder Cup games, including a 6-game point streak to start the playoffs.
MORE ARCOBELLO: Mark Arcobello’s 5-game goal streak is the longest in Calder Cup play since Binghamton’s Bobby Butler registered goals in 5 straight from April 20-28, 2011.
LEADERBOARD: The Barons feature 4 of the AHL’s top 12 playoff point scorers: Mark Arcobello (tied for 1st, 15 points), Toni Rajala (T-5th, 13 points), Teemu Hartikainen (T-7th, 11) and Josh Green (T-11th, 10). Barons occupy the top 6 positions in the playoff plus-minus rankings. Randy Jones is the AHL’s playoff plus-minus leader at +14, while Arcobello and Jonathan Cheechoo are tied for 2nd at +11. Taylor Fedun, Teemu Hartikainen and Rajala are all +10.
AS THE PK GOES: OKC is 24-for-26 on the penalty kill in its 7 Calder Cup wins this spring and 11-for-17 on the PK in its 3 losses. The Barons went 3-for-18 on the power play in the Texas series, while killing off 16 of 19 Texas power plays. For the playoffs, the Barons are 8-for-43 on the power play (18.6%, 7th), while the penalty kill has allowed 8 power play goals in the same 43 times short (81.4%, 10th).
THE BACKSTOP: Yann Danis has started 24 straight playoff games over the past 2 springs. With OKC, Danis is 15-9 in the playoffs with a 2.29 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. Since a 6-1 loss on May 1 at Charlotte, Danis is 6-1 with a 1.43 goals-against average and .959 save percentage, stopping 233 of 243 shots in those 7 games. His 30-save, 4-0 shutout of Texas on May 13 was his second career Calder Cup whitewash and the Barons’ third in their 3-season AHL history. Danis blanked Texas over a span of 109 minutes, 37 seconds in that series, topping the Barons’ previous playoff record shutout streak by 11 seconds. Martin Gerber kept Hamilton off the board for 109:26 in 2011.
FIVE-GOAL THIRD: The Barons scored 5 goals in the third period of a 7-3 win over Texas in Game 4 of the previous round on May 15. OKC’s 5 goals in the third period were the most by a team in a single period of Calder Cup play since the Hershey Bears potted 6 second-period goals April 17, 2010 at Bridgeport. It was the first 5-goal third period in the AHL playoffs since April 22, 2009, in the Worcester Sharks’ 6-0 win over Hartford.
Previous Series Results:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
May 9 @ Tex W, 2-1 OT Danis (1, 34) Nilstorp (2, 24) 2,840
May 11 @ Tex L, 1-2 Danis (2, 37) Nilstorp (1, 27) 4,683
May 13 Tex W, 4-0 Danis (0, 30) Nilstorp (3, EN, 27) 1,794
May 15 Tex W, 7-3 Danis (3, 26) Nilstorp (6, EN, 39) 1,795
May 16 Tex W, 5-1 Danis (1, 33) Nilstorp (5, 29) 2,094
Remaining Series Schedule (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
May 25 @ GR Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
May 29 GR Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
May 31 GR Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
June 1* GR Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
June 4* @ GR Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
June 5* @ GR Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
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