By Jim Byers, on 01/30/2012

Recap of Week 17, Jan. 27-28 (2 games, 2-0-0-0)
Season record: 29-11-2-3, 1st, West Division, +9 pts. 

•      THE WEEK PAST: The Barons won both games last week and maintained the AHL’s best record while expanding their West Division lead. OKC begins this week a season-high 9 points ahead of second-place Houston. In a pair of home games last week, the Barons improved to 6-0 against Houston this season with a 5-2 decision on Friday, opening a 4-0 lead through 2 periods. On Saturday, the Barons built a 2-0 lead early in the third and prevailed 3-1 over Texas with the help of an empty-net goal, improving to 3-2-0-0 against the Stars.   

•      THE WEEK AHEAD: Four Barons players, plus head coach Todd Nelson, will take part in the AHL All-Star Classic at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City tonight (Jan. 30). Philippe Cornet and Alex Plante were named starters last week. Yann Danis and Ryan Keller round out OKC’s contingent. When league play begins after the break, OKC has a 2-game week ahead, with both contests at home. The San Antonio Rampage bring a 7-game winning streak into Thursday’s 7 pm game at the Cox Center. The Barons are 3-2-0-0 against the Rampage this season and have split 2 games in Oklahoma City. The Charlotte Checkers make their final regular-season visit of the season on Friday at 7 pm. OKC is 2-2-0-1 against Charlotte, with a 1-2-0-0 mark against them at the Cox Center. 

•      STREAKING: The Barons have won 6 straight games, matching their longest winning streak of the season. It also equals the most consecutive wins in OKC’s year and a half franchise history in the AHL. Last season’s team won a maximum of 5 straight. Earlier this season, the Barons won 6 in a row from Oct. 29-Nov. 11. The Barons lead the AHL in wins (29), points (63) and point percentage (.700) while averaging the fewest goals allowed per game at 2.22. 

•      1-2 PUNCH IN NET: Both of OKC’s goaltenders, Yann Danis and David LeNeveu, are among the AHL leaders in major categories. LeNeveu is third in goals against average at 2.00, while Danis is fourth at 2.11. LeNeveu is part of a tie for seventh in save percentage at .925. Danis is 10th at .922. Danis shares the AHL lead in wins with 18 with 3 other netminders. Neither Barons goalie was charged with more than 2 goals in a game during January. Combined, Danis and LeNeveu went 8-4-0 in January with a 1.50 GAA and .933 save percentage. 

•      UPPER ECHELON: All-Star left winger Philippe Cornet reached the All-Star break with 20 goals, tied for sixth in the league. Cornet is tied for sixth in the AHL in goals, 5 behind the leader Cory Conacher of Norfolk. Cornet shares the league lead with Syracuse’s Kyle Palmieri in game-winning goals with 6. Ryan Keller is part of a group with the second-most game-winners (5). Hunter Tremblay is tied for second in shorthanded goals with 4. Keller is tied for fourth in plus-minus at +18. Alex Plante is tied for ninth at +14. 

•      SPECIALIZATION: The Barons have scored power play goals in 3 straight and 4 of their last 5 games. OKC is 3-for-10 with the man advantage in the last 3 games, which follows a stretch where they went 1-for-38 from Jan. 4-20. OKC is 21-0-1-2 when scoring a power play goal and 8-11-1-1 when held without one. On the penalty kill, the Barons have surrendered just 3 power play goals in their last 12 games, which spans January. OKC went 42-for-45 on the penalty kill (93.3%) in 12 January games. 

This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date                 Opponent         Time    Arena                                       Radio
February 2        San Antonio      7 pm     Cox Convention Center              KXY 96.1 FM
February 3        Charlotte           7 pm     Cox Convention Center              KXY 96.1 FM

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