BARONS GAME NOTES - OCTOBER 5
By Jim Byers,
Charlotte Checkers (1-0-0-0) at Oklahoma City Barons (0-1-0-0)
AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1011115-43.pdf&client_code=ahl
LEADING OFF: The Barons’ 3-2 loss last night dropped them to 0-4 all-time in regular season openers during their 4 seasons in the AHL. Richard Bachman (29 saves) was the third Barons goaltender to draw an opening night assignment. Martin Gerber started the club’s first game in 2010 and Yann Danis started the past 2 openers. The road team won all 5 AHL games last night. St. John’s was the only home team to earn a point with a 4-3 OT loss to Providence at Mile One Center. In his first AHL game since skating for the Milwaukee Admirals on Dec. 2, 2009, Ryan Jones scored a goal and paced the Barons with 5 of their 34 shots. Fourteen of OKC’s 18 skaters recorded at least 1 shot on goal. Justin Peters has a career record against OKC of 6-3-0 (1 shutout), a 2.16 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in 10 games.
BEHIND THE BENCH: Todd Nelson returns for his fourth season as OKC’s head coach. The 44-year-old native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, has a record of 125-85-23 behind the Barons’ bench, a .586 point percentage. Assistant coaches Gerry Fleming and Rocky Thompson each return for their fourth seasons in OKC, as does equipment manager Matt Mitchell. Back for their second seasons are assistant equipment manager Al Oman and strength and conditioning coach Kevin Hanlon. Josh Bennett begins his first season as OKC’s athletic trainer after working most recently for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks.
PRE-SEASONING: The Barons traveled to Cedar Park, Texas for a pair of pre-season games last weekend and despite never trailing during actual playing time came away with OT and shootout losses. The Texas Stars topped the Barons 3-2 in OT on Sept. 27, while San Antonio rallied for a 2-1 shootout win Saturday.
DIVISION DANCE: Three Western Conference teams switched divisions this off-season, as the Barons’ division added Abbotsford and lost the Houston Aeros, who moved to Des Moines to become the Iowa Wild. OKC’s division is known as the West this season. The Wild move into in the Midwest Division, which had a vacancy when the Peoria Rivermen ceased operations and relocated to Utica, N.Y., to become the Comets. Utica is affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks, while the Chicago Wolves have teamed with St. Louis.
ROSTER NOTES: The official opening-day roster consisted of 27 players: 16 forwards, 9 defensemen and 2 goaltenders. Eleven players on the opening roster played at least 1 game for the Barons last season. Ryan Hamilton was part of the opening-day roster, but was recalled yesterday afternoon by Edmonton. By AHL roster standards, the veterans are: Linus Omark, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager, Matthew Ford and Derek Nesbitt.
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