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Barons notebook: Special teams come up big

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: October 16, 2011
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Midway through the second period Sunday, the Barons held a 1-0 lead over Houston but ran into a sticky situation trying to protect it.

After two tripping calls in a 1-minute, 16-second span, the Barons spent nearly one minute defending against Houston's 5-on-3 power play.

But the Barons' defensive effort, even while short-handed, prevented the Aeros from any clean looks during the stretch. If it hadn't been already, the tone officially became set with that shift and spurred the Barons on to the shutout.

“That was a huge kill for us,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “Special teams weren't the greatest thing in game one, but I think we're slowly climbing up the ladder on special teams now.”

On Sunday, the Barons finished 1-for-5 in the power play. They held the Aeros to 0-for-6.

“We want to be in the top-10 in both categories, and usually if you're in the top-10 in both penalty kills and power play, you make the playoffs. That's a very important thing for us,” Nelson said.

BARONS TOUGH AT HOME — SO FAR

Kicking off a five-game home stand with two wins is nice. But the Barons believe allowing just one goal in those two contests could send a message to the rest of the American Hockey League about what they can expect when they travel to Oklahoma City.

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