By Jim Byers, on 01/05/2013

Oklahoma City Barons (17-12-1-3) at Milwaukee Admirals (16-13-2-1)

Barons Game 34 | Road Game 17 | AHL Game 497
Jan. 5, 2013, 7 pm CST | BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:

TONIGHT: The Barons make their first of 2 visits during the regular season to Milwaukee in the middle of 3 games in 3 days, taking on the Admirals (Nashville Predators). Last night, OKC dropped its second in a row on this 4-game trip, 5-2 at Grand Rapids. The Barons beat the Admirals twice at the Cox Center in the previous meetings between these teams Nov. 16 (2-1 in OT) and Nov. 17 (5-2). OKC is 4th in the South with 38 points, 5 back of division-leading Charlotte, and 7th in the conference. Milwaukee (35 points) is 3rd in the Midwest Division and 11th 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 (24) and points (50). He’s fifth in shooting percentage (24.2). Eberle owns 6-game point and assist streaks, scoring 5 goals and 7 assists in that span. His assist streak is a team best this season. In 33 games, Eberle has surpassed the point total of OKC’s 2011-12 full season leader, Ryan Keller, 50-49.

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.

QUICK STARTS: The Barons have out-scored the opposition in the first period 44-23, totaling the most first-period goals in the AHL. OKC has gone 7 games without allowing a goal in the opening period. Their last first-period goal against came on Dec. 16 at Houston. The Barons have had a lead or tie at the first intermission in 17 straight games, during which they are 8-7-0-2. The last time OKC trailed after 1 period was Nov. 21 at Texas, when the Stars led 3-1 after 20 minutes in an eventual 6-4 OKC win.

SCHULTZ SHINES: Defenseman Justin Schultz leads the AHL in assists (28) and power play points (23), while second overall in points (46). Schultz, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October and Rookie of the Month in November, has multiple points in 16 of 33 games, including 10 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 33 games and in 3 of those the Barons were shut out.

SPECIAL ATTENTION: OKC is No. 1 in overall power play percentage at 25.7, with 37 goals in 144 opportunities. The Barons are 5-for-9 on the power play in their last 3 games and have a man advantage goal in 6 straight, during which they’re 10-for-26. Taylor Hall is tied for the AHL lead in power play goals with 8.

LAFRANCHISE ARRIVES: OKC signed defenseman Kane Lafranchise to a PTO on Wednesday. The 24-year-old Edmonton native had spent his entire career with Alaska of the ECHL, totaling 7 goals and 53 assists in 121 games over parts of 3 seasons. He made his AHL debut last night in Grand Rapids.

TIDBITS: Justin Schultz has played 27 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 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 last night was his third of the season...each has opened the scoring in a game and each has been on the road...5 of Lander’s 7 points have come away from home...OKC allowed a club record 5 goals in last night’s second period at Grand Rapids...the Barons have yielded 40 second-period tallies, tied with Hamilton for the third-most this season.

Last 5 Games:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
Dec. 27 @ Tex W, 5-4 Danis (4, 27) Campbell (5, 21) 5,354
Dec. 28 SA SOW, 3-2 Roy (2, 32) Markstrom (2, 42) 3,341
Dec. 31 Texas W, 5-2 Danis (2, 42) Nilstorp (4, EN, 22) 4,976
Jan. 1 @ Hou L, 2-4 Danis (3, EN, 24) Hackett (2, 28) 5,419
Jan. 4 @ GR L, 2-5 Danis (L, 5, 14) / Roy Mrazek (2, 17) 7,452

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Jan. 6 Chicago Allstate Arena 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 11 Charlotte Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 12 Charlotte Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 13 Texas Cox Center 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 18 San Antonio Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM

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