Yann Danis' teammates made things easy for him Saturday.
He wanted to do the same for them Sunday.
Led by a 28-save effort from Danis, the Oklahoma City Barons shut out the Houston Aeros, 2-0, in an afternoon American Hockey League matinee at the Cox Center. With the win, the Barons bumped their winning streak to three games to move to 3-1.
Oklahoma City has outscored opponents 15-3 over the past three games, with 10 of those goals coming in Saturday's nine-goal win over the Texas Stars. On Sunday, when the pucks weren't ripping the nets, OKC needed to rely on its defense.
That's where Danis saved the day.
“I knew the game was close, and I was glad to be able to help the guys out there tonight,” said Danis, a goaltender with 49 games of NHL experience. “They did real well for me (Saturday) night, obviously giving me 10 goals. It's a team effort.”
Danis made it look easy. His performance was impressive nonetheless, especially in the third period, when the Aeros grew aggressive and outshot the Barons 14-2.
“He played real strong,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “In the third period, they threw everything at us. And when there were breakdowns, Yann was there for us. That's all we ask our goalies is to give us a chance to win, and Yann certainly did tonight.”
The victory was a rare win for the Barons over Houston. The Aeros won nine of 10 against the Barons last season, including all five in Oklahoma City. Houston went on to finish as Calder Cup runner-up.
This time, Philippe Cornett was the difference offensively. The Barons' second-year left wing scored both goals, the first at 12:49 of the first period and the second coming with just over four minutes left in the second period.
“He's been playing well,” Nelson said. “He plays in a lot of different situations because he's a very smart player. I think it's a credit to Phil. He put in a great summer getting into better shape, and you can see it's paying off for him.”
Cornet said he was disappointed in not being in the lineup for the season opener at Texas last Sunday and even more upset to see his team fall 7-0 without being able to do anything about it. So when Cornet got his name called for his first action of the season on Friday against San Antonio, he wanted to make sure he became a mainstay.
He won't be going anywhere other than the parent Edmonton Oilers if he keeps this up. Cornet on Sunday recorded his first multi-game goal of his Barons career and now has three goals in the past two games.
“At the start of the year, we had meetings…and one of the things that I had to do better was to crash the net and stop at the net and get those rebounds and those tap-in goals,” Cornet said. “I think the second (goal) was a great example of that.”
After the letdown in the opener, the Barons are quickly gaining confidence. And with three more games on this home stand, Oklahoma City now finds itself in a great position to build some important early season momentum. Oklahoma City plays 7 p.m. Friday against Grand Rapids in the Cox Center.
“We came a long ways in one week,” Nelson said. “A week ago, we were coming home on the bus after a tough defeat, getting spanked 7-0.
“But all the guys worked hard this past week and they bought in. Anytime you have three games in three nights with tough games and tough travel, that's a feather in the cap to the players in the room.”
Danis said the 3-0 weekend showed the character of his team.
“Hopefully, it's a sign of things to come,” Danis said.