By Jim Byers, on 04/21/2013

Houston Aeros (40-25-5-5) at Oklahoma City Barons (39-25-2-9)    

Barons Game 76  |  Home Game 38 |  AHL Game 1136
April 21, 2013, 4 pm CDT  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:

TODAY: With a Calder Cup playoff spot clinched by a 7-3 win over Abbotsford last night, the Barons conclude the regular season with first-round matchups and seeding on the line against  the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild). While they enter today 6th in the Western Conference with 89 points, the Barons will be seeded from 5-8 based on today’s results. Houston is 5th with 90 points. OKC is 3-5-0-3 against the Aeros this season, 2-2-0-1 at the Cox Center. Nine of the 11 games between OKC and Houston have been decided by 1 goal, or 1 plus an empty-netter.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons will open the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs at home on April 26-27 against an opponent to be determined after today’s AHL games. The first round is best-of-5, while all other rounds are best-of-7. Yann Danis has started 7 straight games, during which he’s 5-1-1 with a 1.42 goals-against average and .945 save percentage. Since returning from his latest stint with the Edmonton Oilers in mid-March, Danis 10-2-3 with a 1.78 goals-against average and .931 save percentage while starting 15 of 16 games. The Barons have allowed 3 goals or fewer in 18 straight games, going 12-3-0-3 during that run. OKC is 35-11-0-4 when allowing 3 or fewer. The Barons have earned at least 1 standing point in 19 of the last 24 games, going 15-5-0-4. OKC has won 3 straight at home.

SPECIAL PK: The Barons have not allowed a power play goal in 6 consecutive games, going 14-for-14 on the penalty kill in that span, and the PK has been perfect in 15 of the last 16 games at 40-for-41. The Barons’ PK percentage has risen from 76.2 prior to the March 19 game to its current 79.1. The Barons own the league’s top power play percentage at 21.8 with the help of 3 power play goals in 4 tries last night. OKC is 26-11-2-3 when scoring at least 1 power play goal and 14-4-1-0 when notching 2 or more.

SHOT CHART: OKC has out-shot the opposition in 13 of the last 14 games after out-shooting Abbotsford last night 37-24. OKC has limited its opposition to 28 shots or fewer in 13 of the last 15 games.

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 4 straight and 6 of the past 7 games, totaling 2 goals and 8 assists in that span. Arcobello tops the Barons with 68 points, including 22 goals, and his point total is tied for 3rd in the AHL. Arcobello, the club’s all-time leader with 133 points in 3 seasons, enters this final regular season game with the 3rd-highest single-season point total in Barons’ history, trailing Alexandre Giroux (78) and Brad Moran (72) from 2010-11. Martin Marincin is in a multiple-way tie for 12th in the AHL in plus-minus at +20. Toni Rajala is 3rd in the AHL with 42 points in 40 games 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 44 points (16G, 28A) in 45 games, in addition to a +17 rating. Rajala has points in 6 of the last 7 games (5G, 5A). Chris VandeVelde matched his career highs in points (3) and plus-minus (+3) last night with a 2 goals and 1 assist. His other 3-point and +3 game was Oct. 15, 2011, in a 10-1 win over Texas. OKC is 9-0-0-0 when Jonathan Cheechoo scores a goal and 14-1-0-0 when he has a point. Cheechoo had 2 goals in last night’s 7-3 win over Abbotsford.

Last 5 Games:
Date        Opp.     Result    OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie               Attn. 
April 12    @ Rch   SOL, 2-3  Danis (2, 28)                 Leggio (2, 40)              6,288 
April 14    @ Ham  W, 4-0      Danis (0, 24)                 Ger.-Chouinard (4, 36) 4,369
April 16    @ Tor    L, 1-2       Danis (2, 30)                 MacIntyre (1, 30)          6,160
April 19    Abb       W, 1-0      Danis (0, 24)                 Brust (1, 30)                 4,684
April 20    Abb       W, 7-3      Danis (3, 21)                 Irving (7, 30)                 4,365

Upcoming games (all times Central):
Date         Opp.            Site                            Time     Broadcast
Calder Cup Playoffs, Round 1 (Best-of-5)
April 26      TBA              Cox Center                  7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
April 27      TBA              Cox Center                  7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
Game 3, (and Games 4-5 if necessary) at a date and time TBA

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