The Barons (2-1-0) host Houston at 4 p.m. Sunday as they continue a five-game homestand and finish a three-games-in-three-nights stretch.
Oklahoma City struggled against the Aeros last year, going 1-6-1-2. Houston went on to finish second in the AHL's Calder Cup finals.
“We definitely want to be a little better,” Barons defenseman Colten Teubert said. “They were a team that made it all the way to the Calder Cup, and us as the Barons, we want to be a team like that and we want to be able to beat teams that are that good, too.”
1. Ryan Keller
The 27-year-old winger had two goals and two assists.
2. Chris VandeVelde
VandeVelde had a goal and a pair of assists for his first points of the season.
3. Josh Green
The veteran had three assists.
The Barons' front office hoped reducing Cox Center capacity for hockey would give it more of an intimate feeling. The upper bowl of the Cox Center will be covered the entire season, decreasing capacity from 13,000 to 7,500. On Saturday night, a crowd of 5,554 attended the home opener vs. Texas. The Barons averaged 4,155 fans per game last season, which ranked near the middle of the 30-team league.
BIG LEAD PRESENTS ISSUES
Barons coach Todd Nelson said he emphasized sticking to the system in the third period when the game was well in hand.
“It's a coaches nightmare going into the third period,” Nelson said. “You want to make sure you have good habits going into the third period, because how your third period is, is how you're going to lead into the game tomorrow.”
Chris VandeVelde said it had been since high school that he was part of a hockey team scoring in double figures.
“Just keep going, play smart, play hard and don't do anything out of the ordinary,” VandeVelde said of third-period play. “It's 10-1 and guys want to keep piling it on, but we've just got to keep playing our game and that's what we did and finished strong.”
TEUBERT LIKES D-PAIRING
Last season, the Barons acquired Teubert and Kevin Montgomery on the same day.
The two quickly formed a solid pairing on defense and became close friends.
The Barons signed Montgomery earlier in the week from the ECHL's Florida Everblades.
Montgomery made his season debut for the Barons, and Teubert responded with probably his best game of the young season.
“We have a bit of chemistry,” Teubert said. “To have him back, it's awesome and I think we really played well together.”
The Barons will hold a postgame skate after Sunday's game, with skates provided and players joining fans on the ice. ... Nelson said forward Gilbert Brule was close to returning from an upper-body injury. Andrew Lord was still “a ways away” from returning from a concussion. ... Fans in attendance Saturday night received pink T-shirts, and the Barons donated $4 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for tickets purchased by Race for the Cure participants.