A very strong PP that lead to 4 Power Play Goals had the Barons burning the Aeros up all night long as Oklahoma City was able to keep their Slim Lead in the Western Conference and build their overall record to 22-8-4 for a league leading 48 points and the Barons got some more good news as their head coach Todd Nelson was officially announced as the Head Coach of the AHL Western Conference All Stars when the American Hockey League heads to Atlantic City, New Jersey on January 29 & 30 at the Boardwalk Hall Arena.
The Barons spread the scoring out where a different Barons player scored all 6 goals. In addition to the goals, Magnus Paajarvi had a big game where he also added two assists in the game as well as he got his 1st goal scoring as a member of the Oklahoma City Barons after being sent from the Edmonton Oilers on December 16 after having just 3 assists in 25 games with the Oilers this season, that was compared to a strong rookie season where he had 34 points (15G 19A) in 80 games in Edmonton last season.
Press Release by Blake Colston from the Oklahoma City Barons Website
Oklahoma City Barons 6 Houston Aeros 0 (0-0, 4-0, 2-0)
From Houston, Texas: The Oklahoma City Barons (22-8-4 48 PTS) used a franchise record tying four power play goals to defeat the Houston Aeros (18-7-9 45 PTS) and reclaim 1st place in the Western Conference.
The Victory also secured Todd Nelson's spot as head coach of the Western Conference All Stars for the AHL All Star Classic January 29 & 30 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
After a quiet 1st period the Barons offense erupted for four goals in the 2nd period, three of which came via power play goals.
Antti Tyrvainen ignited the scoring spree with a breakaway goal at 3:27 off a pass from Kevin Montgomery. The goal was Tyrvainen's second of the season and second as in many nights. It was also the only even strength goal of the period.
Just 53 seconds later Oklahoma City notched the first of their three power play goals in the period. Josh Green fired a centering pass from the right wing to Philippe Cornet in front of the net where he pushed one past Aeros net minder Darcy Kuemper to notch his team leading 16th of the season. Ryan Kelly also collected an assist on the play.
Captain Bryan Helmer notched the Barons second goal at 11:47 of the frame. Magnus Paajarvi set up Helmer for a one time opportunity and the AHL's top scoring defensemen of all time found the back of the net. Kevin Montgomery also added an assist on the play.
The scoring extravaganza was capped off at 17:16 of the 2nd by Keller. His 12th goal of the season put the Barons in front 4-0. Paajarvi & Green assisted on the goal.
Oklahoma City's Final Power Play Goal of the night was put home by Curtis Hamilton at 12:43 of the 3rd period. Curtis VandeVelde skated around the left wing faceoff circle and fed Tyrvainen behind the net. From there Tyrvainen shoveled a pass to Hamilton in the slot where he fired one past Kuemper.
Helmer & Paajarvi each picked up their first goals of the season while Green & Montogmery added two assists respectively.
Barons net minder Yann Danis stopped all 23 shots he faced and improved to 5-0 against Houston on the season. The Shutout was his third of the season and his second against the Aeros.
What a difference a season makes for the Barons against the Aeros. Last season, Oklahoma City won just one of it's 10 games against the Aeros. This season, the Barons have won all five meetings, two of them by shutout.
Oklahoma City travels to Cleveland to play the Lake Erie Monsters Wednesday Evening. Faceoff is set for 6:00 PM CST.
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