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BARONS GAME NOTES - DECEMBER 9

By Jim Byers, on 12/09/2011

Peoria Rivermen (11-12-1-1) at Oklahoma City Barons (17-6-0-1)
 Barons Game 25  |  Home Game 12 |  AHL Game 358
Dec. 9, 2011, 7 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TONIGHT: The Peoria Rivermen, top affiliate of the St. Louis Blues, make their first of two visits to the Cox Center. The teams play 4 times this season. The Barons and Rivermen were in the same division last season and met 8 times, with the road team having the edge.  OKC was 3-0-0-1 at Peoria, but was 1-2-1-0 against the Rivermen at the Cox Center. Tonight is the middle of a 3-in-3 set for the Barons, who beat Houston in a shootout 2-1 yesterday at Toyota Center. OKC shares the West Division lead with Houston with a league-high 35 points.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons are tops in the AHL (and all of North American pro hockey below the NHL) with 17 wins. The NHL’s Minnesota Wild, with 19 wins, are the only team with more victories than the Barons, although several NHL teams have 17. OKC has won 5 of its last 6. The Barons have allowed a total of 3 goals in their past 3 games, with 2 wins and 1 loss in that time, and lead the AHL by allowing an average of 2.25 goals per game.

GOOD DAY AT SCHOOL: Yesterday’s 2-1 shootout win at Houston was OKC’s second and final pre-noon field trip game of the season. The Barons won their home field trip day 3-1 over Toronto Nov. 8. In one-plus seasons in the AHL, the Barons are 3-0 in morning starts, having beaten San Antonio 2-0 in a field trip game last season at the Cox Center.

SHOOTOUT LEFTOVERS: OKC is 2-1 in shootouts this season and none has lasted the prescribed 5 rounds. A shootout loss Oct. 22 vs. Grand Rapids went 9 sessions. On Oct. 29 OKC needed only 4 rounds to top Houston, and yesterday Josh Green ended the tiebreaker in the sixth round. Philippe Cornet scored the Barons’ other shootout goal yesterday, improving to 3-3 in that category.

DANIS APPROACHES MILESTONE: Goaltender Yann Danis earned the win yesterday, his 99th in the AHL. Danis has 11 wins with OKC this season after winning 7 for Bridgeport in 2008-09 and 81 for Hamilton from 2003-08.

PHILIPPE’S 15: Left winger Philippe Cornet is second in the AHL in goals with 15, trailing Syracuse’s Kyle Palmieri (17). Cornet, teammate Ryan Keller and Palmieri share the AHL lead in game-winning goals with 4. Cornet has slipped to second in the league in shooting percentage at 35.7 (15 goals on 42 shots). He scored 7 goals in 60 games in his rookie campaign last year. For the first time this season, Cornet has been held without a goal in 4 straight games entering tonight.

SPECIALTIES: The Barons have the league’s top home penalty killing percentage at 94.2, allowing 3 power play goals at home in 52 times short. Their overall PK percentage is fourth in the AHL at 85.6 after denying all 6 Houston chances yesterday. OKC has gone 3 consecutive games without allowing a power play goal, a run of 10 straight penalty kills. Dating to the last time they allowed a power play goal, Nov. 27 at Grand Rapids, the Barons have killed off 13 straight times short entering tonight.


NINE WIN NOVEMBER: The Barons wrapped up November with a 9-3-0-0 record, matching January of last season (9-4-1-1) as the winningest month in franchise history. Gilbert Brule was the club’s top scorer in November with 6 goals and 6 assists. Alex Plante was +13 in his 11 November games, the highest rating in the league for the month.

GRANT IN AID: Triston Grant signed a Standard Players’ Contract last week after starting the season on a PTO. He had a 4-game point streak snapped yesterday, a run that matched Josh Green and Ryan Keller for the team high this season.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.       Result     OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie             Attn.
Nov. 26  @ Rfd      W, 3-1       LeNeveu (1, 30)             Salak (2, EN, 25)       3,326
Nov. 27  @ GR       W, 5-4       Danis (4, 32)                   Pearce (5, 16)            5,605
Dec. 2    SA           W, 1-0       LeNeveu (0, 22)             Markstrom (1, 28)       3,489
Dec. 3    @ SA       L, 1-2        LeNeveu (2, 22)             Grumet-Morris (1, 26) 8,290
Dec. 8    @ Hou     SOW, 2-1  Danis (1, 23)                   Kuemper (1, 34)         8,175

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.            Site                                            Time  Broadcast
Dec. 10  @ Texas       Cedar Park Center                      7:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 13  Texas           Cox Center                                  7:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 17  Houston       Cox Center                                  7:00    KTOK AM 1000
Dec. 18  @ Charlotte  Time Warner Cable Arena           5:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 20  @ Charlotte  Time Warner Cable Arena           6:00    KXY 96.1 FM

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