By Jim Byers, on 12/18/2011

Oklahoma City Barons (20-7-0-1) at Charlotte Checkers (16-11-1-1)
Barons Game 29  |  Road Game 15 |  AHL Game 423
Dec. 18, 2011, 5 pm CST  | Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TONIGHT: The Barons visit Time Warner Cable Arena for the first time to begin a 2-game series with the Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes). This is the fourth of 8 meetings between the teams. Charlotte has won 2 of the previous 3 against the Barons. Among teams OKC has faced more than once, the Checkers are the only the team with a season series lead on the Barons. OKC is tied in points with Houston atop the West Division with a league-best 41, 2 points ahead of Abbotsford. Charlotte leads the Midwest Division by 1 point over Milwaukee

OFF THE TOP: The Barons are only AHL team to have won 8 of its last 10 games. With a 3-2 shootout win over
Houston last night in Oklahoma City, the Barons re-took the outright league lead in wins with 20. OKC has the league’s best standing point percentage at .732. The top AHL teams by points and point percentage reside in the West Division: OKC (20 wins, .732), Houston (16, .707) and Abbotsford (19, .696). The Barons are 11-3-0-0 on the road.

TAKING ATTENDANCE: The Barons are without goaltender Yann Danis during this 2-game trip to Charlotte. Danis is home for the impending birth of a child. Rookie goalie Olivier Roy was assigned to the Barons from ECHL Stockton yesterday, but did not dress for the game as David LeNeveu backed up Danis. Roy went 4-8-2 with 2 shutouts and a 2.75 GAA in 14 games for the Thunder. Wingers Philippe Cornet, Teemu Hartikainen, Andrew Lord and Linus Omark are not on the trip because of injuries. Center Josh Green completes a 4-game suspension tonight for a match penalty assessed Dec. 9 vs. Peoria. Green will be eligible to return on Tuesday.

TEUBERT, PAAJARVI ARRIVE: Defenseman Colten Teubert returned to the Barons’ lineup last night after being returned on loan by
Edmonton. It’s Teubert’s third OKC stint this season. Left winger Magnus Paajarvi, the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, made his AHL debut last night and scored the shootout winner against Houston. Paajarvi had 3 assists in 25 Oiler games this season after collecting 15 goals and 19 assists in 80 Edmonton games last season as a rookie.

NETMINDING: David LeNeveu’s 2.01 goals-against average is third in the league behind
Lake Erie’s Cedrick Desjardins (1.49) and Worcester’s Tyson Sexsmith (1.84). LeNeveu and Yann Danis share the seventh-best save percentage in the AHL at .927. Danis’ 2.20 GAA is seventh in the league. In stopping all 4 Houston shootout attempts last night, Danis improved to 13-for-14 in shootouts. His .929 percentage is second in the league among goalies with more than 1 shootout game.

BARONS AMONG AHL LEADERS: Despite missing the last 3 games with an injury and being held off the goal column for 5 games before that, Philippe Cornet is tied with Hershey’s Chris Bourque for the third-most goals in the AHL at 15. Norfolk’s Cory Conacher leads with 18, followed by Syracuse’s Kyle Palmieri (currently on recall to Anaheim) with 17. Cornet and Ryan Keller are part of a group sharing the AHL lead with 4 game-winning goals. Cornet is No. 1 in shooting percentage at 34.9. Hunter Tremblay tops the league with 3 shorthanded goals.

ODDS AND ENDS: The Barons are 24-for-26 on the penalty kill in the past 7 games…OKC’s PK rate of 85.8 is fourth in the league…OKC has won 5 of 7 and in that time has not scored or allowed more than 3 goals...The Barons are 16-0-0-0 when scoring 3 or more goals and 4-7-0-1 with 2 or fewer.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.       Result     OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie             Attn.
Dec. 8    @ Hou     SOW, 2-1  Danis (1, 23)                   Kuemper (1, 34)         8,175
Dec. 9    Peoria      W, 3-1       LeNeveu (1, 20)             Bishop (2, EN, 32)     4,345
Dec. 10  @ Tex      W, 3-2       Danis (2, 27)                   Beskorowany (3, 16)  4,878
Dec. 13  Texas       L, 2-3        LeNeveu (L)/Danis          Beskorowany (2, 18)  2,393
Dec. 17  Houston   SOW, 3-2  Danis (2, 24)                   Kuemper (2, 22)         4,425

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.            Site                                            Time  Broadcast
Dec. 20  @ Charlotte  Time Warner Cable Arena           6:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 27  Rochester     Cox Center                                  7:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 28  Rochester     Cox Center                                  7:00    1340 The Game
Dec. 31  San Antonio Cox Center                                  7:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 1     @ Houston   Toyota Center                             5:05    KXY 96.1 FM

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