IN THE NEWS
BARONS GAME NOTES - FEBRUARY 22
By Jim Byers,
Houston Aeros (27-19-4-3) at Oklahoma City Barons (23-19-2-5)
Barons Game 50 | Home Game 27 | AHL Game 770
TONIGHT: The Barons and Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild) meet at the Cox Center in the front end of a home-and-home series. The rematch is tomorrow at 7:05 pm at Toyota Center in Houston. This is the 8th of 12 meetings in the season series. OKC is 1-3-0-3 so far, with the lone win at the Cox Center Nov. 2 by a 4-3 score. The Barons have 2 losses and 3 shootout defeats against the Aeros in the last 5 meetings and are 1-1-0-1 at home against the Aeros. The Barons have 53 points, 10th in the Western Conference. Houston has 61 points, 5th in the conference.
OFF THE TOP: The Barons enter tonight’s game off a 4-0 loss at Texas on Saturday. It was the sixth time OKC has been shut out this season, a club high, and 3 have been against the Texas Stars. The Barons have at least 1 standing point in 7 of the last 10 games, going 5-3-0-2. OKC has won 3 straight home games, matching their longest home winning stretch of the season. OKC has played 49 games, 4 fewer than Houston. February is OKC’s lightest full month of the season with 8 games, all in Oklahoma or Texas. This weekend wraps up a stretch of 4 consecutive 2-game weeks, with each featuring back-to-back games against the same team. OKC is No. 1 in the AHL on the power play at 23.1 percent and tops at home at 27.1. The power play is 11-for-67 (16.4%) since Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall returned to the NHL. OKC’s opponents have scored twice on the power play in 3 straight and 5 of the last 6 games. Overall, the Barons have allowed a 2-goal game by an individual in 4 straight: Luke Glendening and Gustav Nyquist of Grand Rapids Feb. 8-9; and Mike Hedden and Matt Fraser of Texas Feb. 15-16.
AERONAUTICALLY SPEAKING: In the all-time regular season history between OKC and Houston, the Barons are 9-9-1-6, with a 5-4-1-2 mark at the Cox Center. Houston won 7 of 8 meetings during the 2010-11 season (3 by shootout) before OKC took 9 out of 10 matchups last season (OKC won 3 shootouts and Houston 1). This season, Houston has won 6 of 7 games, 3 via shootout. Only 1 of 25 all-time regular season games between these teams has been decided in overtime. On Oct. 15, 2010, in the second game between these clubs during the Barons’ inaugural season, Houston’s Casey Wellman scored with 18 seconds left in OT to send the Aeros to a 2-1 win at the Cox Center.
TIEBREAKERS: Friday’s 4-3 shootout loss at Texas culminated with a 10-round shootout, twice the scheduled length. It matched the longest shootout in OKC history, joining a pair of 10-rounders from the 2010-11 inaugural season: Jan. 26, 2011 vs. Chicago (L) and Feb. 4, 2011 vs. Peoria (W). On Friday, each team scored once in the first five rounds, forcing extra shooters until a scoring imbalance existed after a completed round. Texas’ Jamie Oleksiak ended the game with a goal in the bottom of the 10th round. OKC’s lone goal came from its first shooter, Josh Green. The Barons’ 5 shootout losses this season have come on 5 different days of the week, one each Wednesday-Sunday. The Barons have yet to win the game immediately following a shootout loss this season, going 0-5-0-0 in those situations with 3 shutouts.
LASTING IMPACT: Jordan Eberle maintains the AHL scoring lead with 51 points and Justin Schultz is tied for second with 48 despite neither playing for the Barons since Jan. 5. Eberle was surpassed for the goal lead on Saturday when Providence’s Jamie Tardif scored his 26th. Springfield’s Tyler Johnson moved into a tie with Schultz for second in points when he recorded his 48th on the strength of a hat trick on Monday at Albany. Schultz (25) and Eberle (23) remain second and third in the AHL in power play points.
FIRSTS FOR PELSS: Rookie winger Kristians Pelss notched his first AHL goal in Friday’s second period of a 4-3 shootout loss at Texas. Pelss added an assist for his first AHL 2-point game.
TYRVAINEN SCORES ON PENALTY SHOT: Antti Tyrvainen’s penalty shot goal in Friday’s third period at Texas was the sixth awarded to the Barons in club history and the first goal. Alex Giroux (twice), Ben Ondrus, Ryan Keller and Tanner House had the only previous penalty shots.
Last 5 Games:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
Feb. 1 Cha W, 7-3 Hovinen (3, 28) Peters (L) / Muse 3,455
Feb. 8 GR W, 4-3 Hovinen (3, 16) McCollum (4, 33) 3,394
Feb. 9 GR W, 7-5 Danis (5, 22) McCollum (6, 22) 4,277
Feb. 15 @ Tex SOL, 3-4 Hovinen (3, 38) Campbell (3, 28) 5,428
Feb. 16 @ Tex L, 0-4 Hovinen (4, 23) Campbell (0, 20) 6,863
Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Feb. 23 Houston Toyota Center 7:05 KXY 96.1 FM
Feb. 26 Texas Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 2 Texas Cedar Park Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 3 Charlotte Time Warner Cable Arena 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 4 Charlotte Time Warner Cable Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
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