Factoring in both Barons goals in a 4-2 loss to San Antonio on Friday night, rookie right winger Toni Rajala is showing why he was selected to the ECHL All-Star Game.
Rajala, a 21-year-old forward from Finland, probably won't play in the Double-A event now that he's one of Oklahoma City's core players.
“He's played well since he came back his second stint,” said Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson. “He's fun to watch. He does a lot of creative things. He finished (well) on his goal tonight. He had other chances. He hit the post. He's one of our skilled players.”
Edmonton's fourth-round pick four years ago, Rajala is playing in the United States for the first time after playing three years in Finland's pro league. With Stockton, Rajala scored 38 points in 29 games, including 18 goals.
His goal Friday was his third in nine games with OKC.
“(Anton) Lander had a good forecheck,” Rajala said. “I just waited in front of the net. (Kristians) Pelss threw it in front of the net. It came to me and it was almost a wide open net.”
ROY INHERITS STARTING ROLE
With Yann Danis up with the parent club in Edmonton, Olivier Roy is the Barons No. 1 goaltender. Roy is 6-6-0 with a 2.85 goals against average.
Danis joined the Oilers because veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin underwent offseason hip surgery and might not be ready for Edmonton's season opener on Sunday.
Tyler Bunz, 20, was promoted from Stockton in the ECHL to serve as the Barons backup. Bunz was 11-9-3 with a 3.45 GAA with the Thunder.
OIL SPILLS ...
Mark Arcobello's 12 shots tied the Barons single-game record. The other 12-shot game was Linus Omark, who scored five goals. Arcobello was scoreless. ... After Saturday's game, select Barons will sign autographs outside the Edge merchandise store. ... The Barons and John Vance Motors are giving away a new vehicle at every Saturday home game. This Saturday's giveaway is a Dodge Ram with a hemi.
BY MIKE BALDWIN