Defenseman Taylor Chorney made his season debut with the Barons on Friday night after being reclaimed off waivers Thursday.
Chorney split time between Edmonton and Oklahoma City last season and appeared in 46 Barons games. He was claimed off waivers by St. Louis on Oct. 10 and appeared in two games for the Blues.
“It's been a crazy month, for sure,” Chorney said. “But it's good to be here and kind of know where I'm going to be and be able to get things started and play well.”
Chorney started Friday night in the Barons' 1-0 win. It was only his third game of the season, and he admitted to being a little rusty.
“I felt better as the game went on, and it's definitely something I can build off of,” Chorney said. “The team's playing well so I don't need to go too crazy out there; just kind of work my way in and feel better every game.”
Barons coach Todd Nelson said Chorney did just that Friday.
“He's always been a great skater and he's a good puck mover,” Nelson said. “He keeps things simple and he's able to advance the puck. I think with any player that hasn't played a lot there's a bit of rust on him. I think he's only going to get better and better.”
Barons rookie forward Tyler Pitlick played what he called one of his better games Friday night. The speedster from Minnesota didn't score or tally an assist. Instead, the 20-year-old stood out with his physicality, wowing the crowd with four jaw-dropping hits.
“I think I was being a little bit more physical all night tonight than I usually have been,” Pitlick said. “But it's a normal part of my game and I definitely got to start doing that more. When I'm being more physical, that's when I'm at the top of my game. So I got to keep that up.”
Nelson said he challenged his guys at the start of the third period to play more physically because they were losing loose-puck battles. Pitlick ultimately was the one who ignited his team and the crowd with his hits.
“We want all of our players to finish like that,” Nelson said. “Not everybody's the biggest guy, but we want all of our guys to finish their checks.”
The Barons will face the Checkers again Saturday night in a back-to-back. It's the third meeting between the two teams, and Nelson said both teams now have a feel for the other.
Rather than focus on the Checkers at Saturday morning's skate, Nelson said he will break down the Barons' performance from Friday night.
“When we show our video (Saturday morning), it's not going to be on Charlotte, it's going to be on us and what we can do better,” Nelson said. “We're going to show things like if we're lazy out there, these things happen. But if we do the right thing and play our system and work hard and battle and win one-on-one battles, now it's more productive offensively for us.”
The announced crowd of 6,282 was the Barons' largest of the season. … Two fights broke out Friday, one involving Barons wing Triston Grant and another involving defenseman Colten Teubert. … Saturday's game against Charlotte will be the second of three straight games. The Barons will play 12 sets of three games in three nights this season.