By Josh Evans, OKC Barons on 02/19/2011

Oklahoma City Barons (29-19-2-5) at Abbotsford Heat (27-23-2-5)
Game 56  |  Road Game 26  |  AHL Game 832
Feb. 19, 2011, 9 pm CST  | Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, Abbotsford, B.C.
Broadcast: News Radio 1000 KTOK

TONIGHT: The Barons and Abbotsford Heat play the second of back-to-back games and meet for the first time in Abbotsford. The teams opened the 4-game season series last night in Calgary as part of the buildup to Sunday’s Heritage Classic, with Alexandre Giroux scoring the winning goal with 1:06 left in regulation in a 3-1 Barons win. OKC is 16-8-0-1 on the road. Their .660 road point percentage is third in the league. The Barons are 10-4-0-1 against North Division clubs.

HELMER IS GRAND: Bryan Helmer played his 1,000th AHL game last night, becoming the seventh player to reach that milestone in the American Hockey League. Helmer joins AHL Hall of Famers Willie Marshall, Fred Glover, Harry Pidhirny, Mike Nykoluk and Jody Gage, as well as current Providence head coach Rob Murray. Helmer is already the AHL’s career leader in playoff games played (138). On Jan. 13, he surpassed John Slaney for the league’s all-time points lead among defensemen when he recorded his 520th AHL point. Helmer’s first AHL game was Oct. 8, 1993 as a member of the Albany River Rats.

GERBER WINS SECOND STRAIGHT: Martin Gerber made 18 saves in last night’s 3-1 win to take his second straight decision. Gerber has started each of the previous 4 OKC games, winning 3 of those. In his 3 most recent wins, Gerber has allowed just 2 goals, sporting a 0.67 GAA and .975 save percentage in those victories. In home games, Gerber is 8-8-2 with 2 shutouts, a 2.95 goals-against average and .906 save percentage. On the road, he’s 11-3-1 with 2 shutouts, a 1.77 GAA and .937.

PETRY RE-JOINS BARONS: Defenseman Jeff Petry played his first game as a Baron since Dec. 20 last night. Petry was returned on loan by Edmonton Feb. 14 when defenseman Taylor Chorney was recalled. Petry just completed his first NHL stint by playing 21 games for the Oilers, recording 1 goal and 2 assists with 6 PIM. He earned an assist in his first game Dec. 28 vs. Buffalo and scored his first goal against Dallas Jan. 20.

PENALTY KILL STREAK AT 2 GAMES: OKC went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill last night and has gone 2 full games plus part of a third without allowing a power play goal. OKC is 7-for-7 on the PK in its last 2 games and has killed 9 straight opposing chances since a tally by Texas’ Ondrej Roman Feb. 5. OKC has gone more than 8 straight periods without allowing a power play goal. The Barons’ 85.5% PK rate is fourth in the AHL.

POWER PLAY DROUGHT: OKC’s power play has connected for 2 goals in its last 27 chances (7.4%) over the last 8 games. For the season, the Barons have an 18.5% success rate, which is 12 of 30 in the league. Their 281 power play chances are No. 1 in the AHL and their 52 power play goals are fifth.

GIROUX’S GOALS A GOOD OMEN: Alexandre Giroux remains second in the AHL in goals (28) and points (62) after scoring his league-leading 7th game-winning goal last night. Giroux has goals in 18 of OKC’s 55 games and the Barons are 16-0-1-1 when Giroux tallies 1 or more goals in a contest. Giroux is third in the league in shots (195) and has 40 shots in the last 7 games.

DOT...DOT...DOT: Abbotsford native Brad Moran is 10th in the AHL with 48 points...Moran has points in 8 of the last 11 games, totaling 4 goals and 7 assists in that span...Colin McDonald is tied for fifth in the AHL in goals with 24...the Barons have earned at least 1 standing point in 13 of their last 17 games...the Barons have not lost back-to-back games in regulation since Jan. 2-7, both at home.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.      Result        OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie          Attn.
Feb. 3    Peoria     L, 1-4           Deslauriers (3, 36)           Bishop (1, 35)         2,647
Feb. 4    Peoria     W, 2-1 (SO)  Gerber (1, 28)                 Allen (1, 34)            4,374
Feb. 5    Texas      L, 0-3           Gerber (3, 29)                 Bachman (0, 30)     5,738
Feb. 9    SA          W, 2-0          Gerber (0, 33)                 Climie (2, 27)           2,005
Feb. 18  @ Abt     W, 3-1          Gerber (1, 18)                 Irving (2, EN, 24)     8,407

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.                  Site                          Time   Broadcast
Feb. 23  Milwaukee           Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Feb. 25  San Antonio        Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Feb. 26  Houston              Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Feb. 27  @ Texas             Cedar Park Center    5:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Mar. 4     Abbotsford          Cox Center               7:05     KXY 96.1 FM

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