By Jim Byers, on 01/02/2011

Rockford Icehogs (14-14-1-4) at Oklahoma City Barons (18-13-1-4)
Game 37  |  Home Game 21  |  AHL Game 541
Jan. 2, 2011, 3:05 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TODAY: The Barons wrap up a two-game set with the Rockford Icehogs (Chicago Blackhawks). This is the fifth game in six days for OKC, one of a pair of 5-in-6 sets this season for the Barons. OKC is 2-0-0-0 against the Icehogs, having won 6-5 in overtime at Rockford Dec. 11 and in regulation 2-1 last night. OKC has won consecutive games overall after halting a six-game winless streak on New Year’s Eve at San Antonio. The Barons are tied for sixth in the West, six points back of first. The Icehogs are eighth, 14 points back, but have played the division’s fewest games (33).

OMARK NETS WINNER IN RETURN: Winger Linus Omark returned to the Barons yesterday and scored the winning goal in a 2-1 decision over Rockford. It was Omark’s 14th goal and 27th point in 27 OKC games, including his team-leading fourth game-winner.

ALL POWER: Both Barons goals last night came on the power play, marking the third time this season that the power play provided OKC’s entire goal output for a game. It was the first time it has happened in a win. The other occasions were a 2-1 shootout loss against Texas Nov. 19 and a 4-2 defeat against San Antonio Dec. 18.

SCORE AND WIN: Alexandre Giroux contributed an assist last night, but the two-time AHL goal champ recorded his first hat trick (and the team’s third) on Friday at San Antonio. The Barons are 7-0-0-1 when Giroux scores a goal. He leads the club with 35 points. Giroux enters today’s game on a 4-game point streak, during which he has 3 goals and 4 assists.

MCDONALD STRIKES AGAIN: Colin McDonald opened the scoring for the Barons last night with a tying goal in the third period.  McDonald has four goals and one assist in the last six games and has points in five of those contests. McDonald leads the team in goals with a career-best 18. His previous career high was 13, set last season between Springfield (12) and Edmonton (1).

HOME FOR FIVE: The Barons are one game deep in a 5-game homestand. OKC is 9-7-1-3 at the Cox Center and 9-6-0-1 away from home. The current homestand leads into a five-city, seven-game trip that will take the Barons to Peoria for two games, then San Antonio, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Rockford and Chicago from Jan. 13-23.

FINISHING TOUCHES: During a six-game winless streak that ended on Friday, the Barons were out-scored 9-2 in the third period. But in the past 2 games, OKC has out-scored the opposition 5-1 in the final period, putting away Friday’s game with a 3-1 third in San Antonio and scoring both its goals in a 2-goal third last night. The Barons lead the opposition for the season 39-35 in third-period goals.

SHOT CHART: The Barons have been out-shot in six straight games. The last time they totaled more shots than the opposition was during a 3-0 home loss against Hamilton Dec. 17. For the season, the Barons have been out-shot 1114-1104, but have a positive goal differential at 115-106.

WELCOME HOME: Goaltender Bryan Pitton opened the season with the Barons, and is in his third stint with the team, but he made his first home start last night and was the No. 1 star with 30 saves.

DESLAURIERS HONORED: Goalie Jeff Deslauriers has missed the last four OKC games while playing for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in Switzerland. Canada lost the tournament final, but Deslauriers was named Outstanding Goaltender.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.      Result        OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie          Attn.
Dec. 20  @ Texas L, 3-4           Deslauriers (4, 25)           Bachman (3, 20)     6,611
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

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.                  Site                          Time   Broadcast
Jan. 7     Peoria                 Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
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     

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