By Jim Byers, on 01/29/2013

Recap of Week 16, Jan. 23-26 (3 games, 1-1-0-1)

Season record: 20-17-2-4, 4th, South Division, -12 pts.; 9th, Western Conference
•      THE WEEK PAST: The Barons earned 3 of 6 possible standing points on a 3-game trip to Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and Rockford. On Wednesday at Grand Rapids, the Barons rallied from a 2-0 deficit at the first intermission to tie the score three times, the last of those on a goal by Martin Marincin at 9:43 of the third to knot the score 4-4 and eventually force overtime and a shootout. The Griffins scored both goals in the shootout to record a 5-4 win. On Friday, OKC allowed a franchise record 8 goals in an 8-2 loss at Milwaukee to conclude the season series. The Barons went 3-1-0-0 against the Admirals with the help of overtime and shootout wins, so Milwaukee’s record against the Barons was 1-1-1-1. On Saturday, OKC visited Rockford for the first time this season and the teams traded leads until Colten Teubert banked a point shot off an IceHogs defenseman for a tie-breaking and winning goal with 2:50 left in a 4-3 Barons win.
•      THE WEEK AHEAD: After the 4-day All-Star break, the Barons return to the Cox Convention Center on Thursday for the first of back-to-back games against the Charlotte Checkers. Game time Thursday and Friday is 7 pm CST. The teams have traded 2-game sweeps this season, with the Barons winning twice at Charlotte Thanksgiving weekend and the Checkers returning the favor at the Cox Center Jan. 11-12.
•      ARCOBELLO HELPS WEST TO ALL-STAR WIN: Barons center Mark Arcobello, a starter for Monday’s 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic, recorded 3 assists in the Western Conference’s 7-6 win over the East in Providence, R.I. Arcobello’s third assist set up the winning goal by Toronto’s Ryan Hamilton with 11.2 seconds remaining in regulation, capping a hat trick for Hamilton.
•      DOUBLE UP: This week begins a pattern where the Barons play 4 consecutive 2-game weeks, each time facing the same opponent back-to-back. Charlotte visits the Cox Center this week, while Grand Rapids makes its only appearance in OKC for the regular season Feb. 8-9. OKC travels to Cedar Park Feb. 15-16 to take on the Texas Stars. The Barons and Houston Aeros meet in a home-and-home set Feb. 22-23, with the first game in OKC and the rematch at the Toyota Center. February is OKC’s lightest full month of the season, as the Barons skate in 8 games.
•      SHOT SHEET: In 9 games since the departure of (at the time) OKC’s top 3 scorers Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall to the NHL, the Barons have out-shot the opposition 338-261. In that span, the Barons have collected more shots in 6 of 9 games by a combined margin of 77 shots. Prior to the current run, OKC had been a -72 for the season in shots for and against. Entering Thursday’s game the Barons are +5 in season shots, 1331-1326. 
•      NEW IN NET: Goaltender Niko Hovinen has been assigned to the Barons after being claimed on waivers by the Edmonton Oilers Jan. 25 from Philadelphia. Hovinen, a 6-7, 200-pound native of Helsinki, Finland, has yet to play in the AHL. The 24-year-old has spent this season, his first in North America, with Trenton of the ECHL, going 4-6-3 with a 3.14 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. Hovinen has spent parts of 6 seasons in Finland’s top professional league, the SM-liiga.
•      CLARK, CHEECHOO DEBUT: NHL veterans Brett Clark and Jonathan Cheechoo made their Barons debuts last week, playing in all 3 games of the trip. Clark, with 681 games of NHL experience signed to an AHL contract Jan. 21, is in the AHL for the first time since the 2005-06 season. The 36-year-old defenseman notched an assist in each of the past 2 games, at Milwaukee and Rockford. Cheechoo, a 32-year-old right winger and former NHL All-Star with San Jose, has been in the AHL the past 2 seasons. He signed a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO) Jan. 20. Cheechoo, with 170 goals in 501 NHL games, recorded 2 assists in Saturday’s 4-3 win at Rockford.
•      SPECIAL JERSEYS FRIDAY: The Barons will wear one-of-a-kind jerseys on Friday adorned with a Special Olympics logo. The jerseys will be available for bids in a live auction immediately following the game. For the third straight season, the Barons have partnered with Special Olympics Oklahoma in a program called Barons Buddies. Each Barons player adopts a Special Olympics athlete for the duration of the season. The team and athlete meet on three occasions during the season to form a permanent bond. Last season, the Barons and Special Olympics created memories for 20 athletes and their families and raised more than $25,000 in the process via the team wearing and auctioning one-of-a-kind jerseys.
This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date                        Opponent        Time                 Arena                                     Radio
Thursday, Jan. 31   Charlotte           7:00 pm           Cox Convention Center         KXY 96.1 FM       

Friday, Feb. 1         Charlotte           7:00 pm           Cox Convention Center         KXY 96.1 FM

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