Oklahoma City Barons (17-10-1-3) at Houston Aeros (16-10-2-3)
Barons Game 31 | Road Game 15 | AHL Game 474
Jan. 1, 2013, 5:05 pm CST | Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Radio: AM 1340 The Game
TONIGHT: The Barons visit the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild) to begin a 4-game trip. OKC has won 4 straight, including a 5-2 decision over Texas last night at the Cox Center, and can match its longest winning streak of the campaign with a win tonight. This is the 7th of 12 meetings between these teams. The Barons are 1-2-0-3 against the Aeros, with a 0-1-0-2 mark at the Toyota Center. OKC wraps up a stretch tonight where 13 of 14 games have been against Texas-based teams. The Barons have 38 points, fifth in the Western Conference. Houston has 37, tied for 6th.
OFF THE TOP: The Barons have out-scored the opposition in the first period 42-23, totaling the most first-period goals in the AHL. OKC has gone 5 games without allowing a goal in the opening period. Their last first-period goal against was scored by Rob Mignardi of Houston at 2:49 of the first on Dec. 16. The Barons have had a lead or tie at the first intermission in 15 straight games, during which they are 8-5-0-2. The last time OKC trailed after 1 period was Nov. 21 at Texas, when the Stars led 3-1 after 20 minutes in an eventual 6-4 OKC win. Jordan Eberle recorded his second hat trick of the season last night. It was the team’s third hat trick in a 7-game span dating to a 4-goal game by Eberle Dec. 15. Taylor Hall added a hat trick on Dec. 27. OKC did not have a hat trick from April 8, 2011 until Eberle’s on Dec. 15.
DECEMBER DOINGS: The Barons went 6-4-0-1 in December while boasting 4 of the AHL’s top 11 scorers for the month. Jordan Eberle led all December scorers with 20 points (11G, 9A). Mark Arcobello was third with 17 (3G, 14A), while Taylor Hall was tied for fourth with 16 (7G, 9A) and Justin Schultz tied for 8th (along with 3 others) with 14 points (6G, 8A). December marked the second straight month Eberle led the AHL in scoring. He had 21 November points while being that month’s CCM/AHL Player of the Month.
EBERLE AND SCHULTZ TOP CHARTS: Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz are 1-2 in the AHL point race. Eberle tops the league with 23 goals and 47 points. Schultz leads the AHL with 28 assists and 22 power play points, while second overall with 45 points. Eberle is also tied for second in plus-minus at +16. Schultz, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October and Rookie of the Month in November, has multiple points in 16 of 31 games, including 10 games with 2 assists. Schultz is third in the league in goals (17), 3 away from tying the rookie defenseman goal scoring record (20), set by John Slaney of Baltimore in 1992-93. Schultz has points in 18 of the last 20 games, collecting 11 goals and 19 assists in that span. Schultz has been held off the scoresheet 4 times this season and in 3 of those the Barons were shut out.
SPECIAL ATTENTION: OKC is No. 1 in overall power play percentage at 24.8, with 34 goals in 137 opportunities. The Barons are 5-for-25 (20%) on the man advantage in 6 games against Houston. OKC has killed 75 of its last 88 times short spanning 20 games (85.2) after killing 38 of 54 times short over its first 11 games (70.4%). OKC’s season PK rate of 79.6 is tied for 28th. Houston is 7-for-29 (24.1) on the man advantage against OKC. Taylor Hall is tied with 3 others for the AHL lead in power play goals with 7.
TRANSACTIONS: The Edmonton Oilers reassigned Philippe Cornet and Ryan Martindale to ECHL Stockton on Sunday. Cornet played 8 OKC games without a point and returns for his second stint with Stockton. Martindale began the season with the Barons, was injured Nov. 2 and only played once since, totaling 3 assists in 7 games. The Barons signed RW Erick Lizon to a PTO on Thursday and the 27-year-old has played the past 3 games. Lizon spent the past season and a half with the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League. He skated for OKC’s former CHL club in 2007-08, becoming the first player to have appeared for both OKC Barons and Blazers. He had 3 assists and 71 PIM in 24 Wichita games this season.
TIDBITS: Justin Schultz has played 25 consecutive games without being penalized...his last penalty was Oct. 26 vs. Houston...he has 3 minors on the season...Jordan Eberle set Barons records for fastest 2 goals (9 seconds) and quickest 3 goals by an individual (2:43) in a natural hat trick last night. Eberle’s 2 goals in 9 seconds is also a team mark, bettering the old record of 10 seconds on Oct. 15, 2011 vs. Texas.
Last 5 Games:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
Dec. 21 Texas L, 0-3 Danis (2, EN, 23) Nilstorp (0, 21) 2,784
Dec. 22 Texas W, 6-2 Danis (2, 39) Nilstorp (L)/Campbell 3,179
Dec. 27 Texas W, 5-4 Danis (4, 27) Campbell (5, 21) 5,354
Dec. 28 SA SOW, 3-2 Roy (2, 32) Markstrom (2, 42) 3,341
Dec. 31 Texas W, 5-2 Danis (2, 42) Nilstorp (4, EN, 22) 4,976
Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Jan. 4 Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 5 Milwaukee BMO Harris Bradley 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 6 Chicago Allstate Arena 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 11 Charlotte Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 12 Charlotte Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
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