Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oklahoma City Barons get first ever Shutout against the Lake Erie Monsters

After a brutal start to the season and a few bell ringers as well. The Barons are beginning to get it together with their 3rd straight win and Martin Gerber getting the Barons first ever shutout in team history as the Barons got goals from Shawn Belle, Liam Reddox and last year's top goal scorer Alexander Giroux who had 50 during the regular season last year which helped the Hershey Bears win the AHL Calder Cup last year.

Beyond that, a strong defensive performance plus a PP that went 2/4 on the night and a 35 save performance from Martin Gerber gave the North Division Foes their shutout loss of the season. After three straight losses to start the season and getting a single goal in all three games, the Barons have outscored their opposition 15-5 in the 3 wins which included an 8-2 thrashing of the Houston Aeros after the Barons got beat the by the Aeros twice in their first three games of the season.

For the Barons, they will now head north for a 5 game road trip which includes a nationally Televised Game on Sunday against the Hamilton Bulldogs on both the CBC in Canada and the NHL Network in the USA. Other games include the Toronto Marlies on Saturday Evening, plus games against the Grand Rapids Griffins, Chicago Wolves and the Peoria Rivermen as well on this road-trip.

As for the Lake Erie Monsters, their tour of the Southwest continues with a game tonight against the San Antonio Rampage, plus a trip to Austin on to face the Texas Stars on Friday Night, then the Southwest trip wraps up on Sunday against the Houston Aeros.

Lake Erie Monsters 0  Oklahoma City Barons 3  (0-0, 0-2, 0-1)

Lake Erie Monsters VS. Oklahoma City Barons Game Highlights

Oklahoma City Barons Photo Gallery

Game Story by Ryan Aber of The Daily Oklahoman

The Barons won their third consecutive AHL Game Tuesday, beating Lake Erie 3-0 in front of 2,784 at the Cox Convention Center.

"Every period we play, we get more and more confidence," Barons Goaltender Martin Gerber said. "The more you play, the better you feel and the better the team has played.

Gerber was the first star, turning in the Barons first ever shutout and making several spectacular with his glove to keep the Monsters off the board.

"Now he's starting to get into rhythm, which is good for us," Nelson said. "He's just playing well. You've got to give him credit to our defense as well and our forwards as well. The opportunities that we are giving up, a lot of them are from the outside, so Gerbie made the first save and we cleared out of the rebounds."

The Barons return to action against San Antonio at 7:05 PM. Friday, starting a tough weekend that includes a pair of road games at Toronto and Hamilton.

"We wanted to get into the weekend with some positive momentum," Nelson said. "This is a big win for us, just the way we won not giving up any goals and being able to score on the power play."

After dropping their first three games of the season, the Barons have turned things around in a big way.

It started against the Monsters with a 4-3 come-from-behind win at home Friday and has carried over throughout a tough 4 game in 5 night stretch.

The Power Play that gave them so many problems in the initial losing streak has turned into one of the team's strengths.

The Barons started the scoring on the power play against the Monsters, Shawn Belle swatting the puck off Lake Erie's Mike Carmen and over the left shoulder of goaltender at 1:22 of the 2nd period for the Barons first goal.

Then the Barons put the game away with another goal on the power play, with Alexander Giroux bashing Bacashihua just six seconds into a power play at 7:50 in the third to make it 3-0.

"It's going to take a few games to get accustomed to each other," Belle said. "Brad Moran played overseas. Giroux played in Hershey. I played in Hamilton. There are a lot of different elements. You start to learn where each other is going to be and now it's clicking."

The Power Play isn't the only special teams unit that has been solid of late for the Barons.

After holding the Monsters scoreless on the power plays Tuesday, the Barons have now killed off 21 consecutive penalties.

Liam Reddox scored the other Barons goal, putting them up 2-0 with his breakaway goal 12:00 into the second period.

"He's a good energy player for us," Nelson said. "He plays in all situations for us. He's just a solid all-around player. We're very fortunate to have him here."

 Reddox and Giroux, both held scoreless for the first two games, have now scored in consecutive games. Giroux, who lead the AHL in Goals the last two seasons, scored twice in Sunday's win in Houston.

The performance came with Oilers senior advisor and former coach Patt Quinn watching atop the arena with Barons GM Bill Scott.

Quinn will be with the team often this season as he works with the Oilers developmental system. He'll stay with the team through Friday's Game.

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