Get that last game dusted off of you yet? Great, because the Milwaukee Admirals are back at it for the first of a two-in-two this weekend. Tonight we get to see an Oklahoma City Barons team that tops the West Division with a record of 13-4-2-2 (30 points). From one division leader to the next, right?
As mentioned, the Barons are leading the West Division. What should come as big a scare as the last Admirals game is just how hot they are rolling into Milwaukee tonight. The Barons have 9-game point streak currently and are 8-0-0-1 during that time including a 7-game winning streak.
During this point streak they have endured 5 games that have gone to overtime or a shootout including a stretch that saw them win 4-straight games in OT. That run of OT games finally came to an end last night with a 4-1 road win against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
With their 72 goals scored on the season, which ties them with their divisional foes the San Antonio Rampage, they only trail the Springfield Falcons (79) and Rockford IceHogs (74) for best offensive output in the AHL. The Barons have the second best power-play in the league: 24.7 % success rate… only the Bridgeport Sound Tigers ridiculous 29% rate is better.
~The Who & What~
Leading the team in scoring is veteran forward Jason Williams with 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 19 games. He spent his last two seasons playing pro-hockey in Switzerland with HC Ambrì-Piotta. Prior to his stint overseas he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization where he played the bulk of his 2011-12 season with Wilkes-Barre Scranton. He currently has 267 games of AHL playing experience.
Other men leading the way in scoring for the Barons are Brad Hunt, Anton Lander, Ryan Hamilton, and Iiro Pakarinen. Both Hunt and Lander are tallying up the assists this season with a combined 25 assists between them. As for Hamilton and Pakarinen, those two have each been tearing things up in the goal department. Hamilton has a team best 9 goals this season while Pakarinen’s 8 goals ties him with Williams.
The man shouldering the load in net for the Barons this season, just like last season, is Richard Bachman. He is currently putting together his best season since his 2009-10 as a member of the Texas Stars and Idaho Steelheads. He has played in 11 games this season, won 7 games, and has a 2.27 goals against average with a 0.921 save percentage.
As far as any rough stuff goes. The man you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for is #22, Kale Kessy. This season he has 61 penalty minutes on the strength of 5 fighting majors – including a game misconduct for fighting Charlotte Checkers defenseman Keegan Lowe twice in a game on 11/21/14.
~Milwaukee Admirals Make A Roster Move~
Let’s talk about us for a moment because there was a move made last night that saw Joe Pendenza getting recalled from the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL before their game against the Fort Wayne Komets. Pendenza only played one game after his loan move down on Tuesday. This move is made as a direct result of the injury picked up by Rich Clune on Thursday night that, according to Dean Evason, should sideline Clune for the weekend.
What are your expectations for tonight’s game after the horror show Thursday night? Should the Admirals be aggressive right out of the gate to show some fight or do they need to remain conservative with such an attacking force in the Oklahoma City Barons on the ice?