IN THE NEWS
BARONS GAME NOTES - JANUARY 6
By Jim Byers,
Oklahoma City Barons (18-12-1-3) at Chicago Wolves (14-12-3-2)
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AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1010374-40.pdf&client_code=ahl
TODAY: The Barons wrap up a 4-game trip and 3 games in 3 days (in 3 cities) as they make their first of 2 visits to Allstate Arena to take on the Chicago Wolves (Vancouver Canucks). OKC rallied for a 3-2 shootout win at Milwaukee last night to snap a 2-game losing streak that included the first 2 games of this trip. The Barons opened the trip on Tuesday with a 4-2 setback in Houston, followed by a 5-2 loss on Friday at Grand Rapids. OKC has 40 points, 4th in the South (3 back of the leader, Charlotte) and 7th in the conference. Chicago has 33 points, 12th in the conference.
EBERLE DOUBLES UP: OKC has swept CCM/AHL Player of the Month honors this season. Jordan Eberle was tabbed this week as the league’s top player in December, the second straight month he’s taken home that award. Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz was the winner in October. Eberle has led the AHL in scoring each of the past 2 months (see the next note for details). Eberle enters tonight leading the league in goals (25) and points (51). He’s seventh in shooting percentage (23.6). Eberle owns a 7-game point streak, notching 6 goals and 7 assists in that span. On Friday, in his 33rd game, Eberle surpassed the point total of OKC’s 2011-12 full season leader, Ryan Keller.
OUT LIKE A LION: The Barons went 6-4-0-1 in December, winning their final 4 games last month, while boasting 4 of the AHL’s top 11 December scorers. Jordan Eberle led all December scorers with 20 points (11G, 9A). Mark Arcobello was third with 17 (3G, 14A), Taylor Hall was tied for fourth with 16 (7G, 9A) and Justin Schultz tied for 8th (with 3 others) with 14 (6G, 8A). December was Eberle’s second straight month to lead the AHL in points. He had 21 in November while being that month’s CCM/AHL Player of the Month.
TRENDS REVERSED: Prior to last night, when they allowed a first-period goal at Milwaukee, OKC had gone 7 games without giving up a goal in the opening period. The Barons have out-scored the opposition in the first period 44-24, tallying the most first-period goals in the AHL. By trailing 1-0 after 1 period last night, the Barons saw a string of 17 consecutive games snapped where they led or were tied at the first intermission. They went 8-7-0-2 during that stretch. OKC is 2-1-1-0 when trailing after 1 period. The 4 times OKC has trailed after the first are the fewest in the AHL. Closest is Hershey, which is 0-7-0-0 when behind after 1 period. The Barons recorded their second win of the year last night when down 2-0 at some point in a game, and their second such victory in 5 games dating to a shootout over San Antonio Dec. 28.
SCHULTZ SHINES: Defenseman Justin Schultz leads the AHL in assists (30) and power play points (25), while second overall in points with 48. Schultz, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October and Rookie of the Month in November, has multiple points in 17 of 34 games, including 11 games with 2 assists. Schultz is third in the league in goals (18), 2 away from tying the rookie goal scoring record for defensemen (20), set by John Slaney of Baltimore in 1992-93. Schultz, held pointless on Tuesday at Houston, has been kept off the scoresheet in just 5 of 34 games and in 3 of those the Barons were shut out.
SPECIAL ATTENTION: OKC is No. 1 in overall power play percentage at 26.2, with 39 goals in 149 opportunities. The Barons are 7-for-14 on the power play in their last 4 games and have a man advantage goal in 7 straight, during which they’re 12-for-31. Taylor Hall leads the AHL with 9 power play goals. Jordan Eberle is tied for second with 8.
TIDBITS: Justin Schultz has played 28 consecutive games without being penalized...the most recent of his 3 minors was Oct. 26 vs. Houston...Nathan Deck, who has been with the Barons on a PTO since Dec. 8, has been named a starting defenseman for the ECHL All-Star Game Jan. 23, when the Colorado Eagles will take on the remainder of the circuit’s All-Stars...Anton Lander’s goal on Friday at Grand Rapids was his third of the season...each has been the first goal of a game and each has been on the road...5 of Lander’s 7 points have come away from home...OKC limited Milwaukee to 1 third-period shot last night, matching the league low for shots in a period this season.
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