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Oklahoma City Barons: OKC powers past Abbotsford to clinch playoff berth

The Barons have been one of the American Hockey League's hottest teams the past six weeks. The only area that's been a little subpar has been the power play. It wasn't subpar Saturday night.
by Michael Baldwin Published: April 20, 2013

“You want to definitely have that going,” said Jonathan Cheechoo, who also scored two goals. “A lot of times the penalty kill and the power play is what can win or lose you games in the playoffs. It was nice to get a few. We just have to keep that rolling.”

Cheechoo scored the first power-play goal midway through the second period to break a 1-1 tie.

With OKC in a five-on-three advantage, Cheechoo scored his second goal with 29 seconds left in the period. C.J. Stretch scored another power play goal with :01 left for a commanding 4-1 lead.

Cheechoo, a 32-year-old veteran who led the NHL in goals seven years ago, signed with the Barons after the NHL lockout ended. OKC needed a scorer after four young Oilers stars returned to Edmonton.

The Barons are 9-0 when Cheechoo scores a goal and are 14-1 when he scores a point.

“We want to ride that lucky (stat) all the way through,” Cheechoo said. “I guess I just have to keep up my part and keep scoring.”

VandeVelde, who scored back-to-back, game-winning overtime goals last year against San Antonio in a second-round playoff series, scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season.

“Vandy was a big part of our success last year and down the stretch this year,” Nelson said. “You like to see a guy who works the trenches hard, and does a good job with the penalty kill get rewarded. Hopefully he's getting hot at the right time.”

by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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