IN THE NEWS
BARONS WEEK IN REVIEW: FEBRUARY 11 - 17
By Jim Byers,
Recap of Week 19, Feb. 15-16 (2 games, 0-1-0-1)
Season record: 23-19-2-5, 4th, South Division; 10th, Western Conference
• THE WEEK PAST: The Barons had a 3-game winning streak halted in dropping a pair to the Texas Stars at the Cedar Park Center, 4-3 in a shootout on Friday and 4-0 on Saturday. The weekend marked the end of the Barons’ 6-game winning streak at Cedar Park Center that began Dec. 10, 2011 and continued though Dec. 27, 2012. The Barons have won 5 out of 9 this season against the Stars, but 3 of Texas’ wins have been shutouts. Jack Campbell turned in his second blanking of the Barons this season in making 20 saves on Saturday. Niko Hovinen played both games for the Barons in his AHL road debut, stopping 61 of 68 shots.
• THE WEEK AHEAD: The Barons and Houston Aeros play a true “home and home” series featuring a 7 pm game on Friday (CST) at the Cox Center followed by a 7:05 opening face on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston. This will be the second home and home series in OKC’s AHL history and the only one slated this season. OKC and San Antonio met on consecutive nights in each other’s arenas Dec. 2-3, 2011, with the Barons’ David LeNeveu shutting out the Rampage 1-0 in the opening game at OKC. The next night, the Rampage prevailed 2-1. OKC is 1-3-0-3 against Houston this season, with a win, a loss and a shootout defeat in previous games at the Cox Center. Three of OKC’s 5 shootout losses this season have been against Houston, each with Matt Hackett in net for the Aeros. This week ends a run of 4 straight featuring just 2 games back-to-back against the same opponent.
• 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.
• TYRVAINEN’S TALLY: Antti Tyrvainen scored on a penalty shot in Friday’s contest at Texas, the Barons’ first penalty shot goal in club history. Prior to Friday, the Barons had been awarded 5 penalty shots, but none this season until Tyrvainen’s. Alex Giroux (twice), Ryan Keller, Ben Ondrus and Tanner House had unsuccessful penalty shot attempts during the team’s first 2 seasons.
• PELSS PICKS UP FIRST GOALS: Rookie winger Kristians Pelss scored his first AHL goal on Friday at Texas. The 20-year-old native of Latvia had 2 goals for Stockton of the ECHL earlier this season. With the Barons, Pelss has 1 goal and 7 assists in 16 games.
• LASTING IMPACT: Despite not playing for the Barons since Jan. 5, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz remain 1-2 in the AHL in points entering this week. Eberle is the point leader with 51, while Schultz, a defenseman, collected 48. Eberle led the league with 25 goals until Providence’s Jamie Tardif scored his 26th on Saturday. Schultz has 30 AHL assists, which remains tied for the second-highest total in the league behind co-leaders Jeff Taffe of Hershey and T.J. Hensick of Peoria, who have 32. Among AHL defensemen, Schultz’s 48 points are 13 more than T.J. Brennan and 14 ahead of Mike Kostka, both of whom are currently with their NHL parent clubs. Schultz remains the rookie scoring leader by 7 over Houston’s Jason Zucker, who is currently on recall to the Minnesota Wild. Schultz and Eberle remain second and third in the AHL in power play points with 25 and 23, respectively.
This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date Opponent Time Arena Radio
February 22 Houston 7 pm Cox Convention Center KXY 96.1 FM
February 23 Houston 7:05 pm Toyota Center KXY 96.1 FM
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