By Jim Byers, on 01/04/2012

Oklahoma City Barons (22-8-1-3) at Lake Erie Monsters (16-15-1-1)
Barons Game 35  |  Road Game 18 |  AHL Game 501
Jan. 4, 2012, 6:00 pm CST  | Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Broadcast: AM 1340 The Game
TONIGHT: OKC’s four-game trip continues with the first of two meetings this month at Quicken Loans Arena against the Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche). The second and final game between the clubs in Cleveland is Jan. 21. Last season, the Barons won four of the six head-to-head matchups, going 1-2-0-0 at Lake Erie. OKC’s win at The Q came in overtime. All six of last year’s games were played by Jan. 18. OKC leads the West Division with an AHL-best 48 points, two more than Abbotsford. Lake Erie is third in the North, seven points behind the leader, Toronto.

OFF THE TOP: This is the second of a four-game trip for the Barons. It opened with a 6-0 win on Sunday at Houston, Yann Danis’ third shutout of the season and second against the Aeros. Sunday’s win snapped a season-high three-game winless streak, during which the Barons went 0-1-1-1 at home. After tonight, the Barons face Toronto on Friday and Hamilton on Sunday afternoon. OKC has standing points in nine of 11, going 6-2-1-2 in that span. The Barons are 13-3-0-1 on the road.

GO WEST: OKC sits atop the AHL with 48 points, 22 wins and a .706 standing point percentage. The Barons lead the entire AHL in points and point percentage and share the league high in wins with Abbotsford, which is second in the West. The West Division has the AHL’s top three teams by points, as Abbotsford is second with 46 and Houston third with 45.

OIL CHANGES: Recent injuries sustained by the Barons and Edmonton Oilers have resulted in 12 OKC transactions since Christmas after the Barons had 12 player moves in the month of December prior to the Christmas break. The Barons are slated to dress four defensemen tonight who have joined the club since the break: Dan Ringwald (who has two prior OKC stints this season), Andrew Martens, Darcy Campbell and Sean Erickson. Campbell and Erickson will make their Barons debuts tonight.

WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUT: Edmonton recalled Josh Green and Colten Teubert on Tuesday after promoting Teemu Hartikainen on Monday. Lennart Petrell was loaned by Edmonton on Monday after spending the season in the NHL. Defensemen Darcy Campbell (Chicago, ECHL) and Sean Erickson (Tulsa, CHL) have been signed to PTOs in the past 2 days. Ryan Lowery, Kirill Tulupov, Triston Grant, Dylan Yeo, Linus Omark and Andrew Lord are not on the trip because of injury.

BREAKING IT OPEN: Prior to Sunday’s 6-0 win at Houston, the Barons had played eight straight games decided by one goal, featuring four straight 3-2 finals from Dec. 10-18 followed immediately by a quartet of 4-3 decisions from Dec. 20-31. They went 3-2-1-2 in those eight games. The Barons have played 34 games and a league-high 23 have been decided by one goal. OKC is 13-6-1-3 in one-goal finals. A stretch of 16 straight decided by one goal or one plus an empty-netter ended on Sunday. The Barons went 9-4-1-2 in that span. Of OKC’s last 25 games, 23 have featured a one-goal final or one plus an empty-netter.

CHORNEY FINISHES SUSPENSION TONIGHT: Defenseman Taylor Chorney concludes his three-game suspension tonight for a check to the head of Rochester’s Evan Barlow on Dec. 27. Chorney will be eligible to return on Friday at Toronto.

STREAKING: Magnus Paajarvi has points in four straight, collecting 1 goal and 6 assists in that time.

UPPER ECHELON: Philippe Cornet is part of a large tie for fourth in the AHL with 16 goals. The leaders, Norfolk’s Cory Conacher and Syracuse’s Kyle Palmieri, have 19.  Cornet and Ryan Keller are part of a group tied for second in the AHL with 4 game-winning goals. Cornet remains No. 1 in shooting percentage at 34.0. Hunter Tremblay is tied for the league high with 3 shorthanded goals.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.       Result     OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie             Attn.
Dec. 20  @ Cha     OTW, 4-3  LeNeveu (3, 24)             Murphy (4, 22)           5,220
Dec. 27  Rch          OTL, 3-4   Danis (4, 19)                   MacIntyre (3, 27)        4,044
Dec. 28  Rch          SOL, 3-4   Danis, (3, 21)                  Leggio (3, 22)            3,090
Dec. 31  SA           L, 3-4        LeNeveu (4, 13)             Markstrom (3, 28)       4,859
Jan. 1     @ Hou     W, 6-0       Danis (0, 23)                   Kuemper (6, 23)         10,715

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.            Site                                Time   Broadcast
Jan. 6     @ Toronto    Ricoh Coliseum               6:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 8     @ Hamilton   Copps Coliseum              2:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 13   Rockford       Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 14   Abbotsford   Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 15   Abbotsford   Cox Center                      4:00     KXY 96.1 FM 

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