IN THE NEWS
BARONS GAME NOTES - APRIL 20
By Jim Byers,
Abbotsford Heat (34-31-4-6) at Oklahoma City Barons (38-25-2-9)
AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1010990-40.pdf&client_code=ahl
TONIGHT: The Barons play the second of back-to-back games against the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames). Yann Danis made 24 saves as the Barons defeated the Heat 1-0 last night to take a 2-1 season series lead. This is the final meeting of the year between the teams and the middle of a regular season-ending set of 3 games in 3 days for OKC. Abbotsford wraps up its season tonight. OKC is 6th in the Western Conference with 87 points and can clinch a playoff spot with at least 1 standing point tonight or a Rockford loss of any sort at Texas. Abbotsford has 78 points.
OFF THE TOP: Yann Danis has earned shutouts in 2 of the last 3 games after OKC did not blank an opponent through the season’s first 71 contests. Since returning from his latest stint with the Edmonton Oilers in mid-March, Danis 9-2-3 with a 1.69 goals-against average and .934 save percentage while starting 14 of the last 15. Danis has made 6 straight starts dating to April 7, during which he’s 4-1-1 with a 1.16 GAA and .956 save percentage, stopping 152 of 159 shots. The Barons have allowed 3 goals or fewer in 17 straight games, going 11-3-0-3 during that run. OKC is 34-11-0-4 when allowing 3 or fewer. The Barons have earned at least 1 standing point in 18 of the last 23 games, going 14-5-0-4. OKC is 8-0-0-0 when Jonathan Cheechoo scores a goal and 13-1-0-0 when he has a point. OKC is 11-4-0-0 all-time against Abbotsford, 4-3-0-0 at the Cox Center.
SPECIALTIES: The Barons have not allowed a power play goal in 5 consecutive games, going 12-for-12 on the penalty kill in that span, and the PK has been perfect in 14 of the last 15 games at 38-for-39. The Barons’ PK percentage has risen from 76.2 prior to the March 19 game to its current 79.0. The Barons own the league’s top power play percentage at 21.1. OKC is 25-11-2-3 when scoring at least 1 power play goal and 13-4-1-0 when notching 2 or more.
SHOT CHART: OKC has out-shot the opposition in 12 of the last 13 games after out-shooting Abbotsford last night 31-24. OKC has limited its opposition to 28 shots or fewer in 12 of the last 14 games. For the season, the Barons have out-shot the opponent in the first period by 54 shots (771-717) and in the second period by 99 shots, 783-684 and overall by 126, 2298-2172.
SHORE FOR SCHULTZ: Justin Schultz is the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2012-13 season as voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities. Schultz is the first rookie in the 55-year history of the Eddie Shore Award to win the honor. He played 34 games to start the season and still leads all AHL defensemen in goals (18) and points (48).
DAVIDSON HONORED: Rookie defenseman Brandon Davidson is the 2013 recipient of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey. The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities. Davidson was less than a month into his first season of professional hockey when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and required immediate treatment. He underwent successful surgery and chemotherapy, began skating with the Barons again in January and made his return to the lineup on Feb. 8.
PIVOTAL PERFORMERS: Mark Arcobello has points in 3 straight and 5 of the past 6 games, totaling 2 goals and 7 assists in that span. Arcobello tops the Barons with 67 points, including 22 goals, and his point total is tied for 3rd in the AHL. Arcobello, the club’s all-time leader with 132 points in 3 seasons, enters the regular season’s final 2 games with the 3rd-highest single-season point total in Barons’ history, trailing only Alexandre Giroux (78) and Brad Moran (72) from 2010-11. Martin Marincin is in a multiple-way tie for 8th in the AHL in plus-minus at +21. He had a personal season-high 7 shots last night. Toni Rajala is tied for 3rd in the AHL with 40 points since Jan. 11, when he was recalled from ECHL Stockton for his second AHL stint. For the season, counting 5 games with the Barons in late November, Rajala has 42 points (16G, 26A) in 44 games, in addition to a +18 rating. Rajala has points in 5 of the last 6 games (5G, 3A).
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