Ryan Keller and Philippe Cornet had a goal and assist each Wednesday night, and the Oklahoma City Barons hung on to beat the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 in an American Hockey League game before 4,247 fans at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Ryan O'Marra added a goal and two assists to help the Barons take a 3-0 lead through two periods. Lake Erie, the top farm team of the Colorado Avalanche, scored twice in third period but failed to tie the game in the waning seconds after pulling goaltender Trevor Cann for an extra attacker.
The Barons improved to 23-8-1-3 and increased their first-place lead over Abbotsford to four standings points in the West Division.
*Cornet, defenseman Alex Plante and goaltender Yann Danis were named Wednesday to the AHL Western Conference All-Star team. They will join Barons coach Todd Nelson at the All-Star Classic Jan. 29-30 in Atlantic City, N.J.
Cornet leads the Barons with 17 goals, and Danis is 15-5-0-1 with a 2.20 goals against average. Plante is currently on the Edmonton Oilers roster but is out indefinitely with a concussion.
*Keller, who scored the Barons' first goal Wednesday night just 12 seconds into the game, left in the second period after a vicious hit to the jaw by Adrian Foster. Keller, who tops the Barons in scoring with 30 points in 36 games, was bleeding from the mouth. An extended loss would add to the Barons' growing list of injuries.
Oklahoma City is without defensemen Ryan Lowery, Kirill Tulupov, Dylan Yeo and forwards Gilbert Brule, Tristan Grant, Linus Omark and Andrew Lord. Edmonton has also made 12 transactions with the Barons since Christmas. This week, the Oilers recalled forward Teemu Hartikainen, Josh Green and defenseman Colton Teubert.
Yet, the team continues to win. Recent Central Hockey League signees, defensemen Andrew Martins of Wichita and Sean Erickson of Tulsa, played well in front of goaltender Danis on Wednesday night. Lake Erie had 22 total shots on goal but just six through two periods.
*Cann, the Lake Erie goaltender, won 24 games over the 2009-2011 seasons with the Tulsa Oilers. He is usually the Monsters' No. 2 netminder, but starter Cedric Desjardins is out with injury. Desjardins tops the AHL with a 1.85 goals against average and .941 saves percentage.
*Oklahoma City continues its four-game road trip at 6 p.m. Friday at Toronto. The Marlies — the famed Maple Leafs' farm team — lead the North Division.