By Jim Byers, on 03/25/2012

Grand Rapids Griffins (29-26-6-4) at Oklahoma City Barons (41-17-4-5)
Barons Game 68 |  Home Game 34 |  AHL Game 1004
March 25, 2012, 4 pm CDT  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TODAY: The Barons wrap up a 3-game homestand with their second straight game against the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings). The Barons won last night 5-2 and have taken 2 straight and 5 of their last 6. OKC leads the West Division by a season-high 15 points and tops the Western Conference with 91 points, 8 more than Toronto. The Barons are 4-0-0-2 against the Griffins this season, with 2 wins and shootout loss in the previous games at the Cox Center. Grand Rapids is 9-5-1-0 in its last 15 and 13th in the conference, 7 points out of a playoff spot.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons have won 3 straight home games, 2 on the current homestand, and have at least 1 standing point in 9 straight (6-0-2-1), 10 of their last 11 and 11 of the last 13 games. The Barons lead the Western Conference in points (91), the second-highest total in the league behind Norfolk (97). OKC’s point percentage (.679) is second only to Norfolk’s .713. The Barons are +42 in goal differential, second in the league behind Norfolk (+77). Norfolk added to its league-record winning streak by taking its 20th consecutive game last night 4-3 in regulation over Albany at the Norfolk Scope. 

BARONS MATCH 2010-11 POINT TOTAL: Last night’s 5-2 win over Grand Rapids gave OKC its 90th and 91st points, matching in 67 games what the inaugural Barons achieved in last season’s full 80-game schedule. Last year’s Barons finished 40-29-2-9. OKC surpassed last season’s win total with its 41st last night.

DANIS NEAR THE TOP: Yann Danis maintained a 2.00 goals-against average after last night’s game, but slipped into second in the AHL in that category after Lake Erie’s Cedrick Desjardins was not charged with a goal in 65 minutes before a 1-0 shootout loss against Toronto. Desjardins’ GAA dropped to 1.93. Danis is tied for fourth in the AHL in wins (24), tied for second in shutouts (5) and tied for fourth in save percentage (.926). He has a 1.72 GAA and .938 save percentage at home this season.

POWER TRIPS: The Barons are 27-1-2-4 when scoring at least 1 power play goal. When they tally 2 or more in a game, they are 7-0-0-1. When held without a power play goal, the Barons are 14-16-2-1. The Barons went 1-for-5 on the power play last night, scoring on a 2-man advantage in the second period.

BLUE LINE BOOST: After going 10 games without a goal by a defenseman from Feb. 19-March 10, the Barons have 6 goals from blueliners in the past 6 games: 3 from Taylor Chorney and one each from Kevin Montgomery, Dylan Yeo and Bryan Helmer. OKC is 14-2-0-2 when a defenseman scores a goal, 4-0-0-0 when the D scores twice. Last night, Bryan Rodney matched the team high with 3 assists.

CLOSE CALLS: The Barons are tied for third in the AHL in one-goal games with 37. OKC is 20-8-4-5 in one-goal finals. Hershey leads with 39 one-goal decisions (19-10-4-6). Lake Erie has played 38 (20-9-3-6).

This is the finale of 3 home games in 3 days for the Barons, the 11th of 12 sets of 3-in-3 this season and the third involving all home games. The Barons went 1-1-1-0 during a home 3-in-3 Jan. 13-15 and 1-2-0-0 during 3 straight at the Cox Center Feb. 17-19. A win today would provide a weekend sweep. OKC is 6-3-0-1 in the last game of a 3-in-3 this season and 5-5-0-2 on Sunday.

FRONT-RUNNING: The Barons are the only AHL team without a regulation loss when leading at an intermission. OKC is 21-0-2-1 when leading after one period and 29-0-4-0 when in front after two.

PLUSES: Ryan Keller is tied for fourth in the AHL in plus-minus at +25. Taylor Chorney, Josh Green Triston Grant and Mark Arcobello are part of a group tied for 15th at +17. Hunter Tremblay is among a collection of players tied for 22nd at +16. Chorney is a team-best +18 in home games this season.

ODDS AND ENDS: Hunter Tremblay is tied with Hershey’s Chris Bourque for the AHL lead in shorthanded goals with 5...the Barons have scored at least 1 goal in 15 of 18 periods against Grand Rapids.

March 14: Teemu Hartikainen
recalled by Edm.
March 15: Cameron Abney
reassigned from Stockton.
March 17: Olivier Roy
reassigned to Stockton.
March 22: Cameron Abney
reassigned to Stockton.
March 24: Chris VandeVelde
recalled by Edmonton.

Player                    Issue                Out                 
Dan Ringwald      concussion     week-to-week
Curtis Hamilton   knee                 week-to-week
Andrew Lord       concussion     indefinitely
Alex Plante           concussion     day-to-day

Last 5 games:
Date        Opp.     Result     OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie            Attn.
March 16 @ Tex    W, 4-3      Danis (3, 23)                   Beskorowany (4, 32)  4,734
March 17 @ Tex    W, 4-3      LeNeveu (3, 25)             Raycroft (4, 24)          5,767
March 18 @ Hou   SOL, 1-2  Danis (1, 21)                   Fallon (1, 36)             4,848
March 23 Tex        W, 3-1      Danis (1, 34)                   Campbell (3, 32)        3,146
March 24 GR         W, 5-2      Danis (2, 31)                   McCollum (5, 24)        5,398

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date        Opp.          Site                                Time   Broadcast
March 30  @ Mil          Bradley Center                7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
March 31  @ GR         Van Andel Arena            6:00     KXY 96.1 FM
April 3      Ham            Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
April 6      Peo            Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
April 7      Chi              Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM     

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