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OKC Barons: Steve Pinizzotto brings a little more grit to the Barons' game plan

The forward has championship experience, playing on the Hershey Bears' back-to-back AHL title teams.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Published: January 29, 2014

Oklahoma City Barons forward Steve Pinizzotto's game is built around finishing checks and playing physical.

“I grew up the youngest child. I used to get beat up a lot,” Pinizzotto said. “That's where I got it from.”

Unlike most physical enforcers in hockey, Pinizzotto supplies some offense. A 29-year-old veteran with 258 games of American Hockey League experience, Pinizzotto played on back-to-back Calder Cup title teams.

The Barons, who host the Toronto Marlies at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cox Convention Center, acquired Pinizzotto in a trade with San Antonio for Ryan Martindale.

“It's tough when you lose buddies in a trade, but that's part of hockey,” said Oklahoma City goaltender Richard Bachman. “(Pinizzotto) is the type of player that gives you energy. He brings a little spark, a little grit. That's huge for us. He's played in a lot of games in a lot of different situations.”

In his seventh pro season, Pinizzotto played on Hershey's back-to-back AHL championship teams in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

In addition to scoring a combined 83 points those two seasons, Pinizzotto posted a plus-40 rating the first title season, which ranked third in the AHL. He's scored 117 career AHL points.

“The game has changed some (toward skill players), but there are still a lot of players that play a heavy game,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “He's a player that plays with sandpaper and grit. But he's also a good player.”

Hampered by an injury, Pinizzotto's ice time was spotty with San Antonio. With the Barons, the Toronto native can provide leadership on a young team.

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