By Josh Evans, OKC Barons on 04/01/2011

Rockford Icehogs (33-32-4-5) at Oklahoma City Barons (36-28-2-9)
Game 76  |  Home Game 39  |  AHL Game 1118
April 1, 2011, 7:05 pm CDT  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TONIGHT: The Barons return to the Cox Center for their first home game since Mar. 12 in the opener of a 2-game homestand. This is the final regular-season meeting with the Rockford Icehogs (Chicago Blackhawks). OKC is 4-1-0-0 against the Icehogs, splitting the previous 2 matchups at the Cox Center Jan. 1-2. The Barons are tied for fifth with Peoria in the West Division, 1 point ahead of San Antonio and 2 back of fourth-place Chicago.

OFF THE TOP: OKC went 2-3-0-4 during a season-high 9-game trip that ended on Sunday at Houston. The Barons are tied for 23rd in home point percentage at .500 (16-16-2-4), while owning the fourth-best road point percentage at .608 (20-12-0-5) behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (.697), Hershey (.635) and Milwaukee (.628). OKC brings home a 5-game road winless streak (0-3-0-2) from the final games of its 9-game trip, its longest road stretch of the season without a win. The Barons’ longest overall stretch without winning is 6 games, from Dec. 12-29.

LOTS OF HOCKEY: OKC’s most recent game was a 5-4 defeat on Sunday in Houston to conclude a 3-game series at Toyota Center. The Barons went 0-2-0-1 in the set with the Aeros. March matched January for the Barons’ busiest month in games with 15, but in March they were jammed into a 24-day span from Mar. 4-27. OKC went 4-7-0-4 in March, just their second losing monthly record. They went 4-5-0-3 in December.

GIROUX AN ALL-STAR, AGAIN: OKC’s leading scorer Alexandre Giroux was named yesterday as the first-team left winger on the AHL post-season All-Star Team. Giroux, second in the league with 71 points and tied for fifth with 30 goals, is also on a team-best 7-game point streak (1 goal, 7 assists). Currently 10th in AHL history in goals (338), Giroux has earned his third straight first team All-Star nod, a feat accomplished by only two other forwards in AHL history (Pete Leswick, 1948-50 and Art Stratton, 1963-65). Giroux is working on his seventh consecutive 30-goal season, tying a record held by AHL Hall of Famer Dick Gamble.

MCDONALD SECOND IN GOALS: Right winger Colin McDonald is second in the AHL in goals with a career-high 34. His previous career high was 13, set last year. Hamilton’s Nigel Dawes leads the league with 38. McDonald leads the league with 17 power play goals.

ROOKIE ROUNDUP: Mark Arcobello had 2-point games on Saturday and Sunday with 1 goal and 1 assist in each. The MVP of this year’s ECHL All-Star Game, Arcobello has 13 points in the last 13 games in his first extended stretch in the AHL. Andrew Lord scored his first AHL goal Mar. 22 at Milwaukee. Rookies scored the only Barons shootout goals in 4 tiebreaker losses during the just-concluded trip: Chris Vandevelde (2), Philippe Cornet and Mark Arcobello. Opponents went 12-for-16 against the Barons in the shootout during 4 games on the trip, while OKC shooters were 4-for-16.

SPECIALTIES: The Barons went 8-for-24 (33.3%) on the power play in its last 4 games. Opponents were a combined 8-for-25 (32%) in that span.

ODDS AND ENDS: Goaltender Martin Gerber has missed 7 straight with an upper body injury sustained at Grand Rapids on Mar. opening-day Barons remain on recall to Edmonton: Linus Omark, Liam Reddox, Jeff Petry, Taylor Chorney (currently on IR), Teemu Hartikainen, Ryan O’Marra and Chris Vandevelde.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.      Result        OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie          Attn.
Mar. 20   @ Chi      L, 0-4           Deslauriers (4, 35)           Pasquale (0, 34)     8,310
Mar. 22   @ Mil       L, 3-4 (SO)   Deslauriers (3, 27)           Smith (3, 35)           2,927
Mar. 25   @ Hou    L, 1-4           Deslauriers (3, 14)           Hackett (1, 26)        6,313
Mar. 26   @ Hou    L, 5-6 (SO)   Pitton (5, 30)                   Tordjman (5, 33)      7,927
Mar. 27   @ Hou    L, 4-5           Pitton (5, 20)                   Hackett (4, 20)        4,582

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.                  Site                          Time   Broadcast
Apr. 2     Texas                  Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Apr. 8     @ San Antonio   AT&T Center            7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Apr. 9     @ Texas             Cedar Park Center    7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
April. 10  @ Houston          Toyota Center          4:05     KXY 96.1 FM
end of regular season                                       

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