By Jim Byers, on 11/18/2011

Abbotsford Heat (11-4-1-0) at Oklahoma City Barons (11-4-0-1)
Barons Game 17  |  Home Game 9 |  AHL Game 233
Nov. 18, 2011, 7 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center
Broadcast: AM 1340 The Game

TONIGHT: The Barons and Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames) open a 2-game series at the Cox Center. The teams share the West Division lead with 21 standing points and own the third-best records (both have point percentages of .719) in the AHL. OKC won the first 2 games of the 8-game season series earlier this month at Abbotsford, rallying from a pair of 2-0 deficits to win 3-2 on Nov. 3 and 4-3 in OT on Nov. 5. Abbotsford has won 9 of its 10 road games so far this season and brings a 4-game winning streak into tonight, with those 4 wins kicking off a 7-game trip.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons are allowing 2.31 goals per game, third in the league behind Abbotsford’s 2.13 and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 2.27. Tonight is the third Barons home game against a West Division opponent so far this season. The Barons topped Texas Oct. 15 (10-1) and Houston Oct. 16 (2-0). OKC has won 7 of its 8 games against West rivals, including a 5-1-0-0 mark on the road.

HOT FINISHES: OKC has won 5 of 6 all-time meetings with the Heat and all 6 games have had dramatic finishes. The winning goal in all 5 OKC victories has been in OT or the final 1:06 of regulation:

Date                              Site                          Final  Skinny
Feb. 18    Calgary         OKC 3, Abb 1           Alex Giroux snapped a 1-1 tie at 18:54 of the 3rd
Feb. 19    Abbotsford    OKC 3, Abb 2 (OT)   Mark Arcobello ended the game at 3:55 of OT
Mar. 4       OKC              Abb 5, OKC 3           Heat scored 4 third-period goals to erase a 2-1 deficit

Mar. 5       OKC              OKC 2, Abb 1 (OT)   Brad Moran ended the game at 3:37 of OT
Nov. 3      Abbotsford    OKC 3, Abb 2           Kevin Montgomery’s power play goal at 19:24 of the 3rd snaps tie
Nov. 5      Abbotsford    OKC 4, Abb 3 (OT)   Gilbert Brule ended the game at 2:53 of OT on the power play

POWER UP: The Barons went 2-for-5 on the power play on Wednesday at Rockford, snapping a 4-game stretch when they were 0-for-14. OKC’s penalty killing is 25-for-27 over the past 5 full games.

NAIL-BITERS: Each of the last 7 Barons games has been decided by one goal, or in the case of a 3-1 win over Toronto Nov. 8 one goal plus an empty-netter. The Barons have won 5 of those last 7 games. For the season, the Barons are 6-3-0-1 in one-goal games.

FINISHING STRONGLY: Prior to Wednesday’s game, the Barons had allowed only 4 third-period goals all season. They allowed 3 at Rockford, but the 7 goals against in the third period are still good for a tie with Chicago for the fewest in the league in the final 20 minutes. Yann Danis and David LeNeveu have stopped 151 of 158 third-period shots, a .956 save percentage.

CORNET JOINS ASHTON ATOP GOAL LIST: Philippe Cornet has 3 goals in his last 2 games and has joined Norfolk’s Carter Ashton as the AHL co-leader with 11 goals. Cornet has 4 power play goals, 2 game-winners and is a team-best 2-for-2 in shootouts.

WELCOME BACK: Defenseman Dan Ringwald was signed to his second PTO of the season today and will rejoin the Barons from ECHL Stockton. Ringwald’s two previous AHL games came at Abbotsford earlier this month. He has 1 goal and 4 assists in 10 games for Stockton.

OMARK SIDELINED:  Oklahoma City Barons forward Linus Omark is sidelined with a lower body injury and is expected to miss the next six weeks.  He was injured November 16 in the Barons 5-4 win over the Rockford IceHogs.

ODDS AND ENDS: Wednesday’s win was the 200th in Todd Nelson’s head coaching career... Ryan Keller’s game-winning goal on Wednesday moved him into a 4-way tie for the league lead with 4...Josh Green has missed 5 games since sustaining an upper body injury Nov. 5...Four of Gilbert Brule’s 5 goals this season have been on the power play.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.       Result     OKC Goalie (GA,SV)     Opp. Goalie          Attn.
Nov. 8    Toronto    W, 3-1      Danis (1, 33)                     Owuya (2, 22)         4,411
Nov. 11  Charlotte  W, 1-0      Danis (0, 30)                     Peters (1, 29)          6,282
Nov. 12  Charlotte  L, 2-3       Danis (3, 30)                     Peters (2, 29)          3,180
Nov. 13  @ Mil        L, 2-3       LeNeveu (3, 26)                Smith (2, 15)           2,847
Nov. 16  @ Rfd      W, 5-4      Danis (4, 33)                     Salak/Richards (L)   2,667

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.                  Site                          Time   Broadcast
Nov. 19  Abbotsford          Cox Center               7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Nov. 25  @ Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena      6:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Nov. 26  @ Rockford         BMO Harris Bank Ctr 7:05     KXY 96.1 FM
Nov. 27  @ Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena      4:00     KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 2    San Antonio        Cox Center               7:00     KXY 96.1 FM

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