By Josh Evans, OKC Barons on 01/07/2011

Peoria Rivermen (23-10-2-1) at Oklahoma City Barons (18-14-1-4)
Game 38  |  Home Game 22  |  AHL Game 562
Jan. 7, 2011, 7:05 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TONIGHT: The Barons continue a 5-game homestand with the first of 3 games in 3 nights and the opener of back-to-back contests with the West Division-leading Peoria Rivermen. Peoria gained sole possession of first place with a 7-4 win over San Antonio in their last game on Wednesday at Carver Arena. The Rivermen, AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues, lead Milwaukee by 1 point and San Antonio by 2. OKC, 1-1-0-0 on the homestand, is tied with Houston for sixth, 8 points back of Peoria. The Barons won the first of 8 meetings between these teams 3-1 on Oct. 30 at Peoria.

HELMER SIGNED: The Barons today signed veteran defenseman Bryan Helmer to a Professional Tryout contract (PTO). Helmer has not played this season, but won Calder Cups each of the past 2 seasons with the Hershey Bears. Helmer is the league’s all-time leader in games played for a defenseman (982) and assists by a defenseman (393).  The three-time Calder Cup champion needs seven points to become the AHL's top scoring defenseman in league history.

EDMONTON BARONS: Since OKC’s last game on Sunday, wingers Linus Omark and Liam Reddox were recalled by Edmonton. Omark was with the Barons most recently for 2 games, scoring the game-winning goal on Saturday and matching the team high with 4 assists on Sunday. Reddox received his first promotion of the 2010-11 season after tying for the team lead with 18 goals, which currently tie him for the second-most in the league with teammate Colin McDonald and others. Defenseman Shawn Belle and Ryan O’Marra were assigned by Edmonton late Sunday afternoon. Belle has appeared in 5 games over 2 stints for Edmonton without registering a point. O’Marra just completed a 9-game stint with the Oilers, scoring 1 goal and adding 2 assists.

POWER SURGE: Three of the Barons’ 5 goals on Sunday came on the power play, marking the first time since Nov. 23 vs. Milwaukee they had scored 3 power play goals in a game. The Barons’ season high is 4 power play tallies on Oct. 17 at Houston in an 8-2 win. Over the past 3 games, 6 of the Barons’ 11 goals have come with a man advantage. OKC’s power play is ranked 11th in the AHL at 18.4%. Their home percentage is up to eighth at 21.1%. The Barons have totaled the third-most power play goals in the league with 38 in a league-high 207 chances.

GIROUX STREAKING: Alexandre Giroux enters tonight’s game on a 5-game point streak, during which he has 3 goals and 5 assists. All 3 goals came New Years Eve in a 4-1 win at San Antonio. Giroux leads the club with 23 assists and 36 points. His 13 goals have come in 8 games and the Barons are 7-0-0-1 when Giroux scores a goal.

SHOT CHART: The Barons have been out-shot in 7 straight games. The last time they totaled more shots than the opposition was in a 3-0 home loss against Hamilton Dec. 17. For the season, the Barons have been out-shot 1150-1139, but have a positive goal differential at 120-112. OKC is 7-7-1-1 when out-shooting its opponent, 10-6-0-2 when out-shot and 1-1-0-1 when the shot total is even.

IN THE CREASE: Goalie Jeff Deslauriers is back with the Barons after missing all 5 games since the Christmas break to play for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in Switzerland. Canada lost the tournament final, but Deslauriers was named Outstanding Goaltender as he played 5 games in 5 days. Bryan Pitton, who backed up Martin Gerber during Deslauriers’ absence, has been reaassigned to Stockton of the ECHL.

ODDS AND ENDS: The 6 goals scored by Rockford on Sunday matched the most allowed by the was the fourth time OKC has surrendered 6 goals, but the first since a 6-3 loss to San Antonio Nov. 9...Sunday’s loss kept the Barons from building their first 3-game home winning streak...OKC has won back-to-back home games twice and both streaks came at the expense of single teams, Lake Erie (Oct. 16-19) and Milwaukee (Nov. 21-23).

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.      Result        OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie          Attn.
Dec. 28  Texas      L, 3-4 (SO)   Gerber (3, 37)                 Bachman (3, 32)     4,470
Dec. 29  @ SA      L, 3-5           Gerber (4, 36)                 Climie (3, 30)           6,894
Dec. 31  @ SA      W, 4-1          Gerber (1, 44)                 Climie (3, 19)           6,360
Jan. 1     Rockford W, 2-1          Pitton (1, 30)                   Toivonen (2, 24)      3,229
Jan. 2     Rockford L, 5-6           Gerber (6, 30)                 Richards (5, 30)       3,210

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.                  Site                          Time   Broadcast
Jan. 8     Peoria                 Cox Center               6:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 9     Lake Erie            Cox Center               5:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 13   @ Peoria             Carver Arena            7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 14   @ Peoria             Carver Arena            7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 15   @ San Antonio   AT&T Center            7:00     KXY 96.1 FM

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