Rochester Americans at Barons
*When: 7 p.m. Tuesday and 7 p.m. Wednesday
*Where: Cox Center
*Tickets: Available at Cox Center box office. Ticket prices start at $10.
*Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1
*Promotion: $2 beer on Tuesday only for fans ages 21 and over.
*History: Oklahoma City has a rich hockey heritage, dating back to the Warriors in the 1930s, the Blazers and Stars of the original Central Hockey League in the 1960s through 1980s, the Blazers of the reborn CHL during the 1990s and 2000s. The Barons, in their second year as American Hockey League members, host the league's second-oldest franchise in the Rochester Americans. The New York-based team, often called the Amerks, has won six AHL championships since it took the ice for the first time in 1956. Rochester is also famous for its simple but popular crest on the front of its sweaters — a red, white and blue shield with Americans scripted across the front.
At least two players have skated for Rochester and Oklahoma City teams: Hall of Fame goaltender Gerry Cheevers won 101 games for the Amerks over the 1961-65 seasons, and then played parts of two years for the Blazers. Cheevers would go on to a stellar NHL career with the Boston Bruins. Another player, enforcer Bruce Shoebottom, played defense for Rochester during the 1992-93 season and then for the Blazers in 1993-94. Shoebottom combined for 489 penalty minutes those two seasons.
*Scouting report: The Barons have lost defenseman Alex Plante to the Edmonton Oilers. The NHL team called up Plante for the fourth time this season, but he played in just two games over three previous promotions. He was expected to join the Oilers on Monday night for their game at Vancouver. ... The Amerks are in Oklahoma City for a back-to-back set at the Cox Center. They have lost three of their top-four scorers to the parent Buffalo Sabres in recent weeks. ... Rochester has a 13-12-4-1 record and is five standings points behind North Division leader Toronto. ... Oklahoma City is 21-7-0-2 and tops the West Division by two points over Abbotsford and three points over Houston. ... The Barons should have goaltender Yann Danis available Tuesday; he left the team for a few days to see the birth of his son, Ryder, last Wednesday. Oklahoma City sent goaltender Olivier Roy and centerman Milan Kytnar back to its Double-A affiliate in Stockton, Calif.
BY SCOTT MUNN