By Jim Byers, on 12/02/2011

San Antonio Rampage (9-11-0-0) at Oklahoma City Barons (15-5-0-1)
Barons Game 22 | Home Game 11 | AHL Game 313

Dec. 2, 2011, 7 pm CST | Cox Convention Center
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TONIGHT: The San Antonio Rampage (Florida Panthers) visit the Cox Center for the first time this season in the front end of a home and home series. The Barons beat the Rampage twice in October at the AT&T Center in the only previous meetings this season. Tonight is the third of 8 head-to-head matchups between the West Division rivals. The Barons sit atop the division with a league-best 31 points, one more than Houston. San Antonio is fourth with 18 points, 9 behind third-place Abbotsford. OKC has won 3 straight, while San Antonio has taken its last 2.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons return home tonight from a post-Thanksgiving trip to Grand Rapids and Rockford that saw them win all 3. OKC has also taken 5 out of 6 to assume the top spot in the AHL in wins (15), standing points (31) and point percentage (.738). Only 3 AHL teams have point percentages of .700 or more and two reside in the West: OKC and Houston (.714). Atlantic Division-leader St. John’s enters tonight playing at a .700 clip. The Barons have scored the fourth-most goals in the league to date (70) while allowing the third-fewest (51). All 3 teams with fewer goals against have played fewer than OKC’s 21 games: Milwaukee (48 in 18 games) Chicago (47 in 18), and Worcester (45 in 17). OKC shares the league’s best goal differential with Norfolk at +19.

CORNET AT THE TOP: Left winger Philippe Cornet is the AHL’s leading goal scorer with 15. He is also tops in the league with 4 game-winning goals and in shooting percentage at 39.5 (15 goals on 38 shots). Cornet has goals in 5 of the past 7 games, totaling 7 in that time. On 9 occasions this season a Baron has scored 2 goals in a game and Cornet has 4 of those (no other Baron has more than one).

NOT CAUGHT SHORT: Rookie Hunter Tremblay leads the league with 3 shorthanded goals. Three of Tremblay’s 4 goals this season have been shorties, including each of his last 3.

SPECIALTY NOTES: The Barons have killed off 48 of 51 times short at home this season, a 94.1 percent efficiency that is second only to Chicago. The Wolves have yet to allow a power play goal in 21 times short at Allstate Arena. In the Barons’ most recent game, a 5-4 win at Grand Rapids on Sunday, they went 2-for-3 on the power play. OKC has won all 5 games it’s played when scoring multiple power play goals this season.

GO WEST: Tonight is the Barons’ fifth home game against a West Division team this season. OKC has won 3 of 4 previous West home games, beating Texas and Houston while splitting with Abbotsford. Overall, the Barons are 8-2-0-0 within the division.

NINE WIN NOVEMBER: The Barons wrapped up November with a 9-3-0-0 record, matching January of last season (9-4-1-1) as the winningest month in franchise history. Gilbert Brule was the club’s top scorer in November with 6 goals and 6 assists. Philippe Cornet was next with 10 points on 8 goals and 2 assists.

PLANTE A PLUS: Alex Plante enters tonight’s game in a multiple-way tie for third in the AHL with a +13 rating. In his 11 November games, Plante was also +13, the highest rating in the league for the month. Closest to his November ranking were 3 players, including the Rampage’s Bill Thomas and Colby Robak, at +9. Ryan Keller checked in with the next group for November at +8.

ODDS AND ENDS: Ryan O’Marra was recalled by Edmonton on was the Barons’ 25th transaction of the season, but only the fifth involving a forward...the other 20 moves have concerned defensemen...OKC has out-scored the opposition 43-30 in 5-on-5 skating situations.

Last 5 games:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
Nov. 18 Abb W, 4-1 LeNeveu (1, 24) Irving (4, 20) 3,225
Nov. 19 Abb L, 2-4 Danis (3, 26) Irving (2, 21) 3,329
Nov. 25 @ GR W, 5-4 Danis (4, 26) McCollum (5, 28) 7,125
Nov. 26 @ Rfd W, 3-1 LeNeveu (1, 30) Salak (2, EN, 25) 3,326
Nov. 27 @ GR W, 5-4 Danis (4, 32) Pearce (5, 16) 5,605

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast

Dec. 3 @ San Antonio AT&T Center 7:00 1340 The Game
Dec. 8 @ Houston Toyota Center 11 am 1340 The Game
Dec. 9 Peoria Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 10 @ Texas Cedar Park Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 13 Texas Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM

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