By Jim Byers, on 03/20/2011

Oklahoma City Barons (36-25-2-7) at Chicago Wolves (35-26-3-6)
Game 71  |  Road Game 33  |  AHL Game 1041
Mar. 20, 2011, 3:00 pm CDT  | Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TODAY: The Barons and Chicago Wolves conclude the season series with the second of back-to-back games at Allstate Arena. OKC won their second straight last night, holding on to beat the Wolves 4-3 . The Barons are 5-1-0-1 against the Wolves this season. Today is the fifth game of a 9-game trip for the Barons, who are 2-0-0-2 so far. OKC is tied with Peoria for third in the West Division, 1 point ahead of fifth-place Texas and 2 up on sixth-place Chicago.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons are a combined 5-for-10 on the power play the past 2 games, with all those goals coming in the second period. OKC has out-scored
Rockford and Chicago the past 2 nights 6-0 in the second period. The Barons’ are 24-for-25 on the penalty kill in the past 5 contests. Brad Moran has points in 5 straight games, with 1 goal and 6 assists. A point today would draw him even with the team high shared by Alex Giroux and Linus Omark

DOES MCDONALD HAVE A MARSHALL PLAN?: Colin McDonald moved into a tie for the second-most goals in the league with his 32nd last night. He’s tied with Portland’s Mark Mancari and 1 behind Hamilton’s Nigel Dawes, but both those players are on recall to the NHL. The Willie Marshall Award goes to the AHL’s leading goal scorer at the end of the regular season. It’s been won each of the past 2 years by Alex Giroux, currently with the Edmonton Oilers. McDonald also leads the league with 15 power play tallies.

LAND OF LINCOLN: The Barons have won all 3 games they’ve played so far at Allstate Arena, with today wrapping up the season series. OKC is 6-0 in northern Illinois, having swept 3 games at Rockford. Counting the 4 games in Peoria, the Barons have 9 wins and 1 shootout loss in Illinois. Today is the Barons’ final regular-season game in Illinois.

TAKING THE LEAD: The Barons have scored the first goal in 5 straight games, 3 of those by Colin McDonald, who tallied first last night. The Barons are 23-9-1-4 when scoring first and 13-16-1-3 when allowing the first goal.

GOAL FOR GIMBLETT: Jesse Gimblett’s goal at
13:56 of the third period last night gave the Barons a 4-2 lead and turned into the winner when Spencer Machacek scored 2 minutes and 10 seconds later. It was Gimblett’s first AHL goal in his eighth league game, 4 this season and 4 in 2009-10.

HOUSE TO JOIN BARONS: Edmonton signed forward Tanner House to a 2-year deal yesterday. The contract takes effect in the fall, but House, captain of the University of Maine the past 2 seasons, will report to the Barons on an Amateur Tryout for the remainder of this season.

GERBER DAY-TO-DAY: Goaltender Martin Gerber had to leave Wednesday’s game at Grand Rapids with an upper body injury and is day-to-day. Bryan Pitton has joined the Barons from ECHL Stockton. In 5 games over previous OKC stints, Pitton is 3-1-0 with a 2.53 GAA and .918 save percentage. Jeff Deslauriers has started and won each of the last 2 games in Gerber’s absence.

ODDS AND ENDS: Eight opening-day Barons are currently with Edmonton, including injured defenseman Taylor Chorney...Dusty Collins, signed on Wednesday to a PTO, is on his sixth team of the season and fourth in the AHL: OKC, San Antonio, Manitoba and Toronto. Collins has also played this season for ECHL Ontario and Florida...all 5 of Bryan Helmer’s goals as Baron have come on the road.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.      Result        OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie          Attn.
Mar. 12   GR          L, 2-5           Gerber (4, 23)                 Pearce (2, 30)         4,970
Mar. 15   @ Peoria L, 1-2 (SO)   Gerber (1, 20)                 Bishop (1, 23)         3,784
Mar. 16   @ GR      L, 1-2 (SO)   Deslauriers (0, 10)           Pearce (1, 31)         7,125
Mar. 18   @ Rfd     W, 5-1          Deslauriers (1, 40)           Toivonen (5, 16)      3,668
Mar. 19   @ Chi      W, 4-3          Deslauriers (3, 21)           Pasquale (4, 22)     14,533

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.                  Site                          Time   Broadcast
Mar. 22   @ Milwaukee       Bradley Center         7:00     KXY 96.1 FM                     
Mar. 25   @ Houston          Toyota Center          7:35     KXY 96.1 FM
Mar. 26   @ Houston          Toyota Center          7:35     KXY 96.1 FM
Mar. 27   @ Houston          Toyota Center          4:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Apr. 1     Rockford             Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM   

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