After Tuesday's practice, Barons coach Todd Nelson ticked off the reasons why his team and the Toronto Marlies should play an extended series in the AHL's Western Conference Finals.
“Some things stand out,” Nelson said. “Both teams had low goals-against, both teams have good goaltending, both teams have a good mix of forwards and defense, both teams also have depth.
“I expect this series to be a hard-fought battle by both teams. I expect it to maybe go the distance. We're pretty similar in a lot of areas.”
Both teams have also had plenty of success winning on the road in the postseason, with each going 4-0 away from their home buildings.
The teams open the series at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cox Center. Game 2 is Friday night, also at home.
TEUBERT RETURNS TO THE ICE
Tuesday was the first time Barons defenseman Colten Teubert returned to the ice since being injured April 24.
Teubert suffered facial fractures after taking a deflected puck to the cheek late in the series-clinching win over Houston.
He was transported to the hospital following the game and had surgery a few days later, including the insertion of several plates and pins to aid in the healing process.
Teubert participated in non-contact skating after the Barons' main practice at the Cox Center ended. He wore a full cage for the workout.
Barons coach Todd Nelson said it was highly unlikely Teubert would return for the series against Toronto, though he could be available for the Calder Cup Finals if the Barons advance.
VANDEVELDE MAKES HISTORY
Chris VandeVelde made American Hockey League history in the series against San Antonio, becoming just the second player in league history to score back-to-back overtime game-winners in the same series.
VandeVelde won games 3 and 4 in overtime, joining Rochester Americans defenseman Jim Weimer, who accomplished the feat in 1983.
Including VandeVelde, eight players have scored two overtime goals in one series. That list includes former Barons forward Alexandre Giroux, who accomplished the feat in 2007 for Hershey.
“It's awesome. The best part about scoring those goals is going into the locker room and having your teammates screaming and jumping on you and all that stuff,” VandeVelde said. “After scoring one, it's pretty exhilarating but to get two is pretty unbelievable.”
BARONS TRAVEL PLANS ANNOUNCED
After Tuesday's practice, Barons players were told they were taking a charter flight to Toronto for games 3, 4 and (if necessary) 5.
The move was welcomed heartily by the players, as the room erupted in cheers when the announcement was made.
“It's not something you do very often at this level but it's nice when you're able to,” Nelson said. “It makes things a bit easier.”
After playing Friday at home, the Barons play Game 3 in Toronto on Monday, Game 4 on Wednesday and possibly Game 5 on Friday before returning to Oklahoma City.
The Marlies flew in Tuesday night and are expected to practice at the Cox Center on Wednesday afternoon.
Tickets start at $11
Tickets for the series start at $11 and are available at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets and by phone at 232-4625.
Thursday night, the first 2,000 fans will receive Barons playoff T-shirts in Edmonton Oilers orange.
On Friday night, one fan will be given a chance to hit a center-ice shot during the first intermission to win a 2012 Ford F-150.