By Jim Byers, on 03/08/2013

Rockford IceHogs (28-26-1-1) at Oklahoma City Barons (27-21-2-5)   

Barons Game 56  |  Home Game 29 |  AHL Game 854
March 8, 2013, 7 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:
TONIGHT: The Barons host the Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks) in the first of back-to-back games. This is the IceHogs’ only visit of the year to the Cox Center and the second of 4 meetings in the season series. The Barons defeated the IceHogs 4-3 on Jan. 26 on a goal by Colten Teubert with 2:50 left in regulation. OKC enters off a 4-2 win at Charlotte on Monday. The Barons have won 3 of their last 4 and are tied for 9th in the Western Conference with 61 points. Rockford dropped its last game 3-2 to Milwaukee on Saturday and is tied for 11th with 58 points.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: The Barons bring a franchise-record 5-game home winning streak into tonight’s contest. The current streak surpasses the previous record of 4 straight home wins from Jan. 15-Feb. 2, 2012. It began on Feb. 1 against Charlotte, continued with consecutive wins over Grand Rapids Feb. 8-9 and extended though victories over Houston Feb. 22 and Texas Feb. 26. During the streak, the Barons have out-scored the opposition 25-16. OKC’s home standing point percentage of .661 is sixth in the AHL. The Barons are 17-8-2-1 at the Cox Center. Tonight and tomorrow comprise half of OKC’s 4 home dates in March. After tonight, the Barons have 9 home games and 11 road contests remaining.

TENDENCIES: OKC has won 3 of its last 4 and 4 of the last 6 games. The Barons have a standing point in 11 of their last 16, going 9-5-0-2 in that time. The Barons are 9-9-1-2 since Jan. 6, when the AHL’s top two scorers (at the time) Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz, plus Taylor Hall, who was tied for sixth in points, left for the Edmonton Oilers. The Barons are tied for first in the AHL in power play percentage at 22.4, but are 13-for-87 (14.9%) since Jan. 6.

HOG CALLING: The Barons won the only previous meeting this season with Rockford on a tie-breaking goal by Colten Teubert with 2:50 remaining in regulation on Jan. 26 to win 4-3 at BMO Harris Bank Center. OKC is 9-1-1-0 all-time against Rockford, with a 3-1-1-0 mark at the Cox Center.

SCORING IN BUNCHES: Former NHL All-Star and Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner Jonathan Cheechoo has 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 15 games with the Barons and all 18 points have been collected in 6 multi-point games. Cheechoo’s 6 multiple point efforts include a franchise record-equaling 4 assists and 5 points on Feb. 1. He’s also collected 2 goals on 3 occasions. Cheechoo is tied for second in the AHL in points (18, 1 behind the leader) since Jan. 23, when he played his first game this season in the AHL. Of Cheechoo’s 18 points, 13 have been accumulated at home, where has played 6 games.

CORNET CLICKING: Philippe Cornet has points in 4 straight games and 5 of the last 6. During the 4-game point streak Cornet, a starter in the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, has 1 goal, 4 assists and a +4 rating.

FILLING THE VOID: Veteran defenseman Brett Clark, an NHL player during all of the previous 7 seasons, was signed to an AHL contract by the Barons Jan. 21 and in 15 games since joining the team has 1 goal, 14 assists and a +6 rating. Clark enters tonight with a current team-best 6-game point streak, during which he has 1 goal, 7 assists a +8 mark. Clark assumed uniform number 5, worn earlier this season by rookie blue-liner Justin Schultz, who departed for the NHL in early January second in the AHL with 48 points and remains the league’s top rookie and defenseman scorer. Schultz collected point streaks of 10 and 9 games, which remain tied for the third-and fourth-longest in the AHL this season.

ODDS AND ENDS: OKC limited Charlotte to 1 shot in the Monday’s second period, matching the franchise record for fewest shots allowed in a period established twice previously against Milwaukee: Jan. 5, 2013 and Feb. 23, 2011...the Barons are 11-5-0-1 when perfect on the penalty kill...they extinguished 5 of 6 times short in Monday’s 4-2 win at Charlotte...Monday’s game was the third and last time this season OKC participated in the only game in the AHL on a given night...they finished 1-1-0-1 when having the league slate to themselves...OKC is 8-9-0-1 on Friday and 3-2-0-0 in the first leg of 3 games in 3 nights.

Last 5 Games:
Date        Opp.     Result    OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie               Attn. 
Feb. 23    @ Hou   L, 1-2       Danis (2, 21)                 Hackett (1, 36)             12,367
Feb. 26    Tex        W, 3-2      Danis (2, 21)                 Campbell (3, 22)           2,400
March 2   @ Tex    SOW, 5-4 Hovinen (4, 22)             Nilstorp (4, 25)              5,789
March 3   @ Cha   L, 2-3       Roy (3, 17)                   Peters (2, 33)               5,543
March 4   @ Cha   W, 4-2      Hovinen (2, 16)             Muse (4, 21)                 3,686

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date         Opp.                Site                         Time     Broadcast
March 9     Rockford           Cox Center              7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 10   San Antonio     AT&T Center            4:30      KXY 96.1 FM
March 13   San Antonio     AT&T Center            7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 19   Rochester         Cox Center              7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 22   Houston           Cox Center              7:00      KXY 96.1 FM 

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