By Jim Byers, on 04/02/2014

Hamilton Bulldogs (30-33-1-4) at Oklahoma City Barons (30-27-2-9)
Barons Game 69  |  Home Game 33  |  AHL Game 1020
April 2, 2014, 7:00 pm CDT  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM,
 Media Kit Link:

TONIGHT: The Barons begin a 3-game homestand with the second and final meeting of the season with the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens). OKC defeated Hamilton 2-1 in the previous matchup at FirstOntario Centre March 7 on a pair of goals by Mark Arcobello. Former Edmonton Oiler Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves in that encounter. The Barons are unbeaten in regulation in their last 3, but are coming off consecutive shootout losses last weekend in Charlotte. OKC is ninth in the Western Conference with 71 points, 4 back of Rockford and Charlotte.

The Barons had 10 player transactions between their most recent game Sunday afternoon in Charlotte and last night, including the addition of 6 players whose junior or college seasons just ended. After a 3-point game Sunday (1 goal, 2 assists) Will Acton was recalled by Edmonton on Monday. March was the Barons’ third consecutive winning month. OKC was 6-3-1-3 in March after going 7-2-0-1 in February and 6-5-0-0 in January. The Barons are 14-5-1-4 in the last 24 games dating to Jan. 30 and in that time established the two longest unbeaten streaks in club history: an 8-game string without a regulation or overtime loss from Jan. 30-Feb. 21 and a 7-game unbeaten stretch from Feb. 28-March 11. Thirteen of the last 14 Barons games have been decided by one goal (or 1 goal plus an empty-netter), with the exception a 5-2 win over San Antonio March 11 in Oklahoma City. The Barons are 7-3-1-3 in their last 14. In one-goal decisions, OKC is 15-12-2-9. After today, the Barons have 7 games left, 2 on the road at Abbotsford and 5 at home, against Charlotte (2), Texas and Iowa (2).

Hamilton’s last game in OKC was one year ago tonight, April 2, 2013. The Barons won 4-1 with the help of 2 empty-net goals. All-time, the Barons are 5-2-0-0 against the Bulldogs and have taken 2 of 3 in the regular season at the Cox Center. Hamilton defeated OKC 4-2 in the first round of the 2011 Calder Cup playoffs.

Matthew Ford had a club-record 5-game goal streak snapped in Sunday’s 5-4 shootout loss at Charlotte. Ford had collected 1 goal in each of the previous 5 contests, eclipsing the old mark of 4 shared by Liam Reddox, Colin McDonald and Mark Arcobello.

Defenseman Taylor Fedun enters tonight having notched consecutive 2-point games at Charlotte, with 1 goal and 1 assist in each. He fired 5 shots on goal Saturday and 9 on Sunday. His 9 shots on Sunday matched his career high set Jan. 6, 2013 at Chicago.

HUNT AMONG LEADERS: Brad Hunt is tied for fourth in points among AHL defensemen with 45, on 11 goals and 34 assists. He already owns the club record for assists in a season by a defenseman (34), surpassing Justin Schultz’s 30 last season. The franchise record for points in a season by a defenseman (48), set in 34 games by Schultz during his Eddie Shore Defenseman of the Year campaign last season.

Richard Bachman has started 22 of the past 24 Barons games, going 13-5-4 in that span. Bachman is fourth in the AHL in minutes (2644:26) while facing the most shots (1461) and making the most saves (1328). Ty Rimmer, who backed up Bachman the past 3 games was returned to Quad City of the Central Hockey League on Monday. Frans Tuohimma, a seventh-round pick by Edmonton in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, was reassigned by the Oilers one week ago from his team in the SM-liiga in Finland and is on this trip. Tuohimma, 22, has spent most of the past 3 seasons in Finland.

Mark Arcobello, Roman Horak and Kale Kessy did not make the trip to Charlotte because of injuries. Arcobello, who has 28 points in 15 games while registering at least 1 point in each of those outings for the longest AHL point streak in more than 2 years, has missed 5 straight as has Horak. The Barons dropped to 1-9 in shootouts this season with Sunday’s 5-4 setback. OKC has dropped all 7 of its road shootouts and has scored 1 goal while allowing 2 in four straight tiebreakers. The Barons share the AHL lead in shootout losses with the 6-9 Lake Erie Monsters. The Barons have lost shootouts in back-to-back games for the second time in club history, joining March 15-16, 2011 at Grand Rapids and Peoria (both 2-1 finals). OKC went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill in the past 2 games against Charlotte’s second-rated power play while going 2-for-9 on their own power plays in the 2-game set.

Last 5 Games:
Date       Opp.      Result     OKC Goalie (GA, SV) Opp. Goalie              Attn.
Mar. 21   @ Texas OTL, 3-4   Bachman (4, 38)            Nilstorp (3, 34)            5,808
Mar. 22   @ Texas L, 3-5       Brossoit (4, EN, 38)       Campbell (3, 31)         6,439
Mar. 25   SA          W, 2-1      Bachman (1, 33)            Houser (2, 23)             3,070
Mar. 29   @ Cha    SOL, 2-3  Bachman (2, 30)            Muse (2, 32)               8,232
Mar. 30   @ Cha    SOL, 4-5  Bachman (4, 35)            Murphy / Muse (W)      8,011

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date        Opp.         Site                                  Time       Broadcast
April 5      Cha           Cox Center                       7:00 pm   TBA
April 6      Cha           Cox Center                       4:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 11    @ Abb       Sports/Entertainment Ctr   9:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 13    @ Abb       Sports/Entertainment Ctr   3:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 16    Texas        Cox Center                       7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM

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