By Jim Byers, on 04/05/2014

Charlotte Checkers (36-31-1-2) at Oklahoma City Barons (31-27-2-9)
Barons Game 70  |  Home Game 34  |  AHL Game 1043
April 5, 2014, 7:00 pm CDT  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KTOK AM 1000,
AHL Media Kit:

TONIGHT: The Barons play the first of back-to-back games against the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes), who share the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot with Rockford. OKC is 10th in the conference with 73 points, 1 back of Rochester and 2 behind Charlotte and Rockford. This is the 11th meeting of the year with the Checkers. OKC is 2-6-0-2 against Charlotte this season and has dropped all 4 games at the Cox Center. OKC enters tonight off a 5-4 shootout win on Wednesday against Hamilton. Charlotte fell 5-2 at San Antonio last night.

The Barons have gone to a shootout in 3 straight games, defeating Hamilton on Wednesday after consecutive losses in Charlotte on Saturday and Sunday. It’s the first time in club history 3 straight games have ended in shootouts. OKC improved to 2-9 in tiebreakers with Wednesday’s win in a 7-round shootout. Both OKC wins have been at home by 5-4 finals and C.J. Stretch has scored the go-ahead and decisive goal in each of the shootout wins. 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 15-5-1-4 in the last 25 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. Fourteen of the last 15 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 8-3-1-3 in their last 15. In one-goal decisions, OKC is 16-12-2-9. After tonight, the Barons have 6 games left, 2 on the road at Abbotsford and 4 at home, against Charlotte, Texas and Iowa (2).

Matthew Ford has goals in 6 of the last 7 games and 22 for the season after opening the scoring with a power-play tally on Wednesday. Ford had a club-record 5-game goal streak snapped on Sunday in Charlotte.

Greg Chase, a seventh-round Edmonton Oilers draft pick in 2013, scored the tying goal on Wednesday with 4:25 remaining in his first professional game. The 19-year old signed an ATO on Tuesday after completing his season with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. Chase was the co-leader on the Hitmen in scoring with 35 goals and 50 assists.

is tied for fourth in points among AHL defensemen with 47, on 11 goals and 36 assists. He already owns the club record for assists in a season by a defenseman (36), surpassing Justin Schultz’s 30 last season. The franchise record for points in a season by a defenseman is 48, set in 34 games by Schultz during his Eddie Shore Defenseman of the Year campaign last season.

Richard Bachman has started 23 of the past 25 Barons games, going 14-5-4 in that span. Bachman is third in the AHL in minutes (2709:26) while facing the most shots (1489) and making the most saves (1352).

ODDS AND ENDS: The Barons have added 8 players on Amateur Tryouts or reassignments from the college or junior ranks since last meeting the Checkers on Sunday. Two of the newcomers, Jujhar Khaira and Greg Chase, made their pro debuts on Wednesday, with Chase scoring the tying goal to force overtime. Steve Pinizzotto and Will Acton have been recalled by Edmonton since Sunday. Twins Kellen and Connor Jones signed ATOs yesterday. They just completed 4-years careers at Quinnipiac University, where they helped lead the Bobcats to the Frozen Four in 2013, where they finished second to Yale.

Last 5 Games:
Date       Opp.      Result     OKC Goalie (GA, SV) Opp. Goalie              Attn.
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
April 2     Ham       SOW, 5-4 Bachman (4, 24)            Mayer (4, 35)              2,852

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date        Opp.         Site                                  Time       Broadcast
April 6      Cha           Cox Center                       4:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 11    @ Abb       Entertainment/Sports Ctr   9:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 13    @ Abb       Entertainment/Sports Ctr   3:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 16    Texas        Cox Center                       7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM
April 18    Iowa          Cox Center                       7:00 pm   KXY 96.1 FM

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