The Oklahoma City Barons have agreed to terms with forward Matthew Ford on a one-year American Hockey League contract for the 2014-15 season, the team announced today.
“I loved everything about Oklahoma City, starting with the organization,” Ford said of his time with the team during the 2013-14 season. “It’s really a first-class operation from the coaches, players, and a big part of that, is the fan support.”
Ford, 29, played in 73 games for the Barons last season and registered 47 points with 25 goals and 22 assists. He was fourth on the team in total points and led Oklahoma City in goals (25), games played (73) and power-play goals (12). Ford also tied for the team lead in multi-goal games with three two-goal outings on the year.
“We’re going to have a lot of second-year guys that will help us get back to how we were playing in the second half of this past season,” Ford said. “We started peaking around playoff time last year, and we’ll have some pieces to put together down the road, but I like the group we have. This organization likes to win, and we want to make the playoffs.”
Ford has spent the time in the AHL in each of his six professional seasons with Oklahoma City, Hartford, Lake Erie, Hershey, Adirondack and Springfield. He was drafted in the eighth round (256th overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Ford played four years (2005-08) at the University of Wisconsin, where the Badgers won the 2006 NCAA Championship.
|Kellen Jones (left) and Connor Jones (right) were Hobey Baker Award finalists.
The Oklahoma City Barons have signed forwards Connor Jones and Kellen Jones to amateur tryout contracts, General Manager Bill Scott announced today. The pair have also signed AHL standard player contracts for the 2014-15 season. The twin brothers hail from Montrose, British Columbia and competed collegiately at Quinnipiac University.
Kellen was selected in the seventh round (202nd overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
He appeared in 40 games as a senior, scoring 42 points with 18 goals and 24 assists. He had a +12 plus-minus rating. He became the 21st player in Quinnipiac’s Division I history to reach the 100-point mark, and 35th all-time, after finishing his career with 54 goals and 71 assists for a total of 125 points in 157 games played.
Kellen appeared in 43 games for the Bobcats as a junior. He was third on the team with 13 goals and 14 assists. His five points in the NCAA Tournament ranked eighth among all participants. He had three game winners on the year and finished with a +10 plus-minus rating. He scored a goal in the Bobcats’ NCAA Frozen Four semifinal win over St. Cloud State. Quinnipiac finished national runner-up to Yale. He was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team.
Connor appeared in 40 games as a senior and had 38 points with 15 goals and 23 assists. He also posted a +15 plus-minus rating. He became the 20th player in Quinnipiac’s Division I history to reach the 100-point mark, and 34th all-time, after finishing his career with 49 goals and 80 assists for a total of 129 points in 156 games played.
Connor played 37 games as a junior and was second on the team with six power play goals. He finished the season with 12 goals and 14 assists. He led the team with five game-winning goals. He also had three assists and one goal during the Bobcats’ NCAA Tournament run. Connor was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team.
The brothers were each nominated for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as seniors. They were named the team’s Co-Most Valuable Players as sophomores. Connor was named to the ECAC second team and chosen as Rookie of the Year by his teammates as a freshman.
After notching his first goal in the second period, Street scored twice within 27 seconds in the third, first tying the game for Abbotsford and later tallying the game-winning goal.
Abbotsford struck first at 15:58 in the first, when a Chris Breen shot from the point was redirected in front of the net by the Heat's Markus Granlund and skidded under Barons goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's pads for a 1-0 Heat lead.
The Barons answered quickly when Linus Omark received a pass from Anton Lander behind the Heat net and promptly fed Andrew Miller in front, who chipped the puck past Abbotsford goalie Joni Ortio to tie the game at 11:16.
There was plenty of action in the second period, as Oklahoma City tallied three goals and Abbotsford two.
The Barons' first goal of the period came at 16:33, as Miller gathered the puck to the right of the Heat net and flicked a pass to C.J. Stretch, sprinting ahead of two Abbotsford defenders. Stretch received the pass, deked Ortio and backhanded a shot into the net for a 2-1 Barons lead.
Shortly thereafter, Denis Grebeshkov added to the Barons' lead on a bizarre play. While attempting to corral a Ryan Hamilton pass near the slot, Grebeshkov flipped the puck in the air and over heavy traffic in front of the Abbotsford net. As a shielded Ortio attempted to locate the puck, it sailed over his shoulder and just across the goal line, giving the Barons a 3-1 lead at 12:01.
Exactly one minute later, the Heat cut the Barons' lead to 3-2 after a Matt Ford roughing penalty at 8:59. Ben Hanowski scored the power play goal on a rebounded Michael Ferland shot from just in front of the Oklahoma City net.
Less than a minute later, Abbotsford struck again, tying the game on a power play goal following an interference penalty at 10:41 to Omark. Street received a pass from Blair Jones and rifled it into the top shelf of the Oklahoma City net at 10:02 to knot the score at three apiece.
Oklahoma City regained the lead at 5:49 in the second when, on a two-on-two rush, Roman Horak sent a cross-ice pass to Hamilton who rifled a wrist shot around a Heat defender and over the glove of Ortio.
Abbotsford eventually tied the game at 13:38 in the third period on Street's second game-tying goal, after center Brett Olson found Street alone in front of the Barons net. Just 27 seconds later, at 13:11, Street scored the eventual game winner, tipping the puck past Bryzgalov off a Blair Jones snapshot from just inside the blue line.
Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 24 Abbotsford shots in his first professional action since last season.
With the loss the Barons dropped to 6-7-0-2 on the season, while Abbotsford improved to an AHL best 13-4-0-1.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at Cox Convention Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. CT. One fan will drive away in a brand-new Honda Civic during the team's Drive Away Every Saturday promotion. Fans can register for a chance to be a semifinalist at the game.
Click here for the boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011313
In his first professional season, Musil has played in five games this season with the Oklahoma City Barons. The Delta, British Columbia, native was drafted by Edmonton in the 2nd round (31st overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Musil played played four seasons in the Western Hockey League with the Vancouver Giants and the Edmonton Oil Kings registering 115 points (28-87-115) in 254 games.
Gernat, also in his first professional season, has played in four games with the Barons, and has scored one point (0-1-1). Also drafted in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Gernat was taken in the 5th round (122st overall) by the Oilers. He spent the past two seasons with the Oil Kings in the WHL registering 68 points (12-56-68) in 83 games.
The pair played in all three games of the Condors’ three-game set against the Alaska Aces over the weekend. Musil scored one goal, while Gernat registered one assist.