By Jim Byers, on 12/08/2011

Oklahoma City Barons (16-6-0-1) at Houston Aeros (14-4-2-4)
Barons Game 24  |  Road Game 13 |  AHL Game 350
Dec. 8, 2011, 11:05 am CST  | Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Broadcast: AM 1340 The Game

TODAY: The Barons play their second and final field trip matinee of the season as they visit the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild). OKC shares the league lead with 16 wins, but trails the Aeros by one point in the West Division, which boasts three of the AHL’s top four teams. This is the Barons’ third of eight meetings with the Aeros. OKC has won both previous games, blanking Houston 2-0 in a Yann Danis shutout on Oct. 16 at the Cox Center and prevailing 5-4 in a shootout at the Toyota Center Oct. 29. Today’s game begins a 3-in-3 stretch for OKC, which hosts Peoria Friday.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons enter today’s game with a share of the league high in wins with 16. Saturday’s 2-1 loss at San Antonio ended the Barons’ four-game winning streak and also halted a separate four-game road winning run. This is the Barons’ second field trip day game of the season and its first on the road. The Barons beat Toronto 3-1 on Nov. 8 at the Cox Center. Last season, the Barons had one morning game, a 2-0 win over San Antonio at the Cox Center Feb. 9. The Barons are allowing a league-low 2.30 goals per game.

The Barons are 9-3-0-0 on the road and have not lost consecutive road contests this season. OKC is 9-3-0-0 vs. West Division foes, 5-2-0-0 on the road.

Left winger Philippe Cornet leads the AHL in goals with 15, pending Wednesday’s results in the Eastern Conference. Syracuse’s Kyle Palmieri entered Wednesday’s game second with 14 goals. Cornet and teammate Ryan Keller share the AHL lead in game-winning goals with 4. Cornet tops the league in shooting percentage at 39.5 (15 goals on 38 shots). He scored seven goals in 60 games in his rookie campaign last year.

NOT CAUGHT SHORT: Rookie Hunter Tremblay leads the league with three shorthanded goals. Three of Tremblay’s four goals this season have been shorties, including each of his last three.

SPECIALTIES: The Barons have the league’s top home penalty killing percentage at 94.2, allowing 3 power play goals at home in 52 times short. On the road, the Barons have killed 46 of 60 times short, a 76.7 percent rate. OKC did not score or allow a power play goal during last weekend’s home-and-home set with San Antonio. The Barons are 4-6-0-0 when not scoring a power play goal.

O’MARRA RETURNS: Center Ryan O’Marra was returned on loan by Edmonton on Monday. O’Marra was recalled to the Oilers Nov. 29 and played 3 games, earning one assist.

The Barons wrapped up November with a 9-3-0-0 record, matching January of last season (9-4-1-1) as the winningest month in franchise history. Gilbert Brule was the club’s top scorer in November with six goals and six assists. Alex Plante was +13 in his 11 November games, the highest rating in the league for the month.

ODDS AND ENDS: Triston Grant signed a Standard Players’ Contract prior to Friday’s game after starting the season on a PTO...Grant brings a four-game point streak into today, matching Josh Green and Ryan Keller for the team high this season...the Barons’ loss on Saturday was their first this season in seven games when out-shooting the opposition...OKC has out-scored the opposition 45-32 in 5-on-5 skating situations...after not participating in a 1-0 game in its inaugural campaign, OKC has had two 1-0 wins already this season, Dec. 2 vs. San Antonio and Nov. 11 vs. Charlotte, both at home...Josh Green returned to the lineup on Friday after missing 10 games with an upper body injury sustained Nov. 5 at Abbotsford.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.       Result     OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie             Attn.
Nov. 25  @ GR       W, 5-4       Danis (4, 26)                   McCollum (5, 28)        7,125
Nov. 26  @ Rfd      W, 3-1       LeNeveu (1, 30)             Salak (2, EN, 25)       3,326
Nov. 27  @ GR       W, 5-4       Danis (4, 32)                   Pearce (5, 16)            5,605
Dec. 2    SA           W, 1-0       LeNeveu (0, 22)             Markstrom (1, 28)       3,489
Dec. 3    @ SA       L, 1-2        LeNeveu (2, 22)             Grumet-Morris (1, 26) 8,290

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.            Site                                            Time  Broadcast
Dec. 9    Peoria          Cox Center                                  7:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 10  @ Texas       Cedar Park Center                      7:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 13  Texas           Cox Center                                  7:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 17  Houston       Cox Center                                  7:00    KTOK AM 1000
Dec. 18  @ Charlotte  Time Warner Cable Arena           5:00    KXY 96.1 FM

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