By Josh Evans, OKC Barons on 01/26/2011

Chicago Wolves (24-20-2-3) at Oklahoma City Barons (25-16-2-4)
Game 48  |  Home Game 25  |  AHL Game 695
Jan. 26, 2011, 7:05 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center
Broadcast: News Radio 1000 KTOK

TONIGHT: The Barons open a 5-game homestand with their second straight game against the Chicago Wolves, top affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers. OKC beat Chicago 2-1 on Sunday in the last game for both teams. The Barons went 6-1-0-0 on a 7-game road trip that ended on Sunday. The Barons have won 7 of their last 8 dating to their most recent home game on Jan. 9, a 5-1 win over Lake Erie. This is the fifth of 8 games between the Barons. OKC is 3-1 against Chicago. The Barons are part of a 4-way tie for second in the West, 3 points back of Peoria.

BACK HOME: The Barons concluded their second-longest trip of the season on Sunday (12 days, 7 games, 6 cities), during which they went 6-1-0-0. OKC is 15-7-0-1 on the road and 10-9-2-3 at home. They have road winning streaks of 4 and 5 games this season, but have yet to win 3 straight at home.

SPECIAL TEAMS SPECIAL VS. CHICAGO: The Chicago Wolves entered Sunday’s game with the AHL’s best power play percentage at 22.9, but the Barons killed off all 3 Wolves power plays to drop them to second in the league at 22.6. The Wolves maintain the league’s top home power play mark at 25.7%. In taking 3 of 4 from Chicago this season, with 2 games in each city, the Barons have successfully killed off all 18 Wolves’ power play chances. OKC’s power play is 5-for-21 vs. Chicago.

MCDONALD AN ALL-STAR: Right winger Colin McDonald was named to the Western Conference All-Star team for Monday’s game at Hershey as a replacement for the promoted Linus Omark. McDonald has 3 goals in the last 2 games and 23 for the season, a career high and second-most in the league behind current Reebok/AHL Player of the Week Mark Mancari of Portland.

GIROUX STAYS HOT: All-Star captain Alexandre Giroux enters tonight on a 5-game point streak, during which he has 3 goals and 5 assists. Giroux is tied for second in the AHL in scoring with 52 points. He’s third in the league in goals with 22 and tied for the lead in power play tallies with 11.

MILESTONE WATCH: Tonight is Bryan Helmer’s 993rd AHL game dating to 1993. If he plays each scheduled game, he will hit No. 1,000 on Feb. 18 against Abbotsford at Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames. The first of OKC’s 2-game set with the Heat is in Calgary as part of the NHL Heritage Classic festivities. That outdoor game is Feb. 20 between the Flames and Canadiens. 

JANUARY JUMP: The Barons are 8-3-1-0 in January, setting a season high for wins in a month with 3 January games remaining counting tonight. OKC’s best previous month was October at 7-4-1-0. OKC has won 7 of its last 8 after taking just 5 of the 15 games immediately prior.

MOVEMENTS: Defenseman Taylor Chorney was retuned on loan from Edmonton Saturday and played against the Wolves on Sunday. Chorney was recalled Jan. 10. He had 2 assists in 6 games with the Oilers. Defenseman Jordan Bendfeld and winger Mark Arcobello were returned to ECHL Stockton on Monday.

DOT...DOT...DOT: The Barons have won 3 straight, each by 1 goal... OKC is 10-4-2-4 in 1-goal games...the Barons have produced season-low shot totals each of their last 2 games but won both, a 4-3 decision on Friday at Rockford with 20 shots, and Sunday’s 2-1 win in Chicago with 22...Martin Gerber went 4-0-0 on the just-concluded road trip with a 1.47 goals-against average and .932 save percentage, allowing 6 goals on 88 shots...Teemu Hartikainen is part of a multiple-way tie for third in the AHL in rookie scoring with 30 points, 4 off the lead of Charlotte’s Zac Dalpe.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.      Result        OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie          Attn.
Jan. 15   @ SA      W, 2-0          Gerber (0, 18)                 Climie (1, EN, 24)    9,920
Jan. 18   @ LE      L, 1-3           Deslauriers (3, 24)           Grahame (1, 24)      3,087               
Jan. 20   @ Mil       W, 4-3 (SO)  Gerber (3, 20)                 Dekanich (3, 30)      2,826
Jan. 21   @ Rfd     W, 4-3          Deslauriers (3, 26)           Toivonen (4, 10)      3,699
Jan. 23   @ Chi      W, 2-1          Gerber (1, 19)                 MacIntyre (2, 20)     4,855

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.                  Site                          Time   Broadcast
Jan. 28   Texas                  Cox Center               6:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Jan. 29   Chicago              Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Feb. 3    Peoria                 Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Feb. 4    Peoria                 Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Feb. 5    @ Texas             Cedar Park Center    7:00     KXY 96.1 FM  

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