BARONS WEEK IN REVIEW: DECEMBER 31 - JANUARY 6
By Jim Byers,
Recap of Week 13, Dec. 31-Jan. 6 (5 games, 2-3-0-0)
Season record: 18-13-1-3, 4th, South Division, -5 pts.; 7th, Western Conference
• THE WEEK PAST: The Barons played 5 games in 7 days in 5 cities, opening with a New Year’s Eve 5-2 win over Texas at the Cox Center. Houston handed OKC a 4-2 defeat on Jan. 1 at the Toyota Center, then the Barons traveled north for a 3-in-3 set against the Midwest Division Jan. 4-6. Grand Rapids dealt OKC a 2-game losing streak with a 5-2 win on Friday, before the Barons rallied from a 2-0 deficit on Saturday at Milwaukee to beat the Admirals in a 6-round shootout 3-2. On Sunday, with Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall out of the lineup because of an impending agreement on a new CBA, the Barons fired 45 shots on Chicago’s net but dropped a 6-3 decision in the first of 4 meetings between the teams. OKC rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the score early in the third 3-3 before Chicago regained the lead with a pair of goals and added an empty-netter.
• THE WEEK AHEAD: The Barons host 3 straight games at the Cox Center, starting with a pair of 7 pm games on Friday and Saturday against South Division leader Charlotte. OKC swept a 2-game set at Time Warner Cable Arena on Thanksgiving weekend, 4-2 and 7-2. The Texas Stars return to the Cox Center on Sunday, Jan. 13, for a 4 pm contest. OKC has won 5 of 6 against the Stars this season, including the last 3.
• EBERLE, SCHULTZ AND HALL DEPART ON TOP: Jordan Eberle departed the AHL this past weekend leading the league in points (51) and goals (25). Eberle was the back-to-back winner of CCM/AHL Player of the Month Awards for November and December. He leaves having collected points in each of his last 7 games, scoring 6 goals and 7 assists in that span. Justin Schultz, a rookie defenseman, heads toward Edmonton leading the league in assists with 30 and power play points with 25 (Eberle was second with 23), while second overall in points with 48. Schultz departs the league 2 goals shy of matching the record for goals by an AHL rookie defenseman, set by John Slaney of Baltimore in 1992-93. The CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October, Schultz had multiple points in 17 of 34 games and compiled 10- and 9-game point streaks. Taylor Hall did not play until Nov. 2 while recovering from shoulder surgery. The first overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft had 34 points in 26 AHL games and left tied for sixth in the point race. Hall goes north leading the league with 9 power play goals.
• QUICK HITS: The Barons enter this week with the top-rated power play percentage in the AHL at 26.1, with 40 goals in 153 chances...in last week’s 5 games, 8 of OKC’s 18 goals came on the man advantage...Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall combined to score 57 of OKC’s 110 goals (shootout goals not included) entering Sunday’s game at Chicago...OKC went from Nov. 24-Jan. 4 (inclusive) without trailing after the first period, a span of 17 straight games...they were 8-7-0-2 during that stretch...also snapped on Saturday, when Milwaukee led 1-0 after one period, was the Barons’ string of 7 straight games without allowing a first period goal...OKC is 2-2-1-0 when trailing after one, those 5 times facing a deficit at the first intermission are the fewest in the AHL...Justin Schultz played the final 28 games of his OKC stint without being penalized...Schultz was assessed 3 minor penalties this season, the last of those Oct. 26 vs. Houston.
This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date Opponent Time Arena Radio
Jan. 11 Charlotte 7:00 pm Cox Convention Center KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 12 Charlotte 7:00 pm Cox Convention Center KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 13 Texas 4:00 pm Cox Convention Center KXY 96.1 FM
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