The Oklahoma City Barons’ “unbeaten” home streak will face a stiff test Friday night and Saturday night when the defending Calder Cup champions visit the Cox Convention Center.
It’s been almost two months since the Barons have lost a home game in regulation. Since the streak started on Jan. 18, the Barons are 8-0-1 at the Cox Center.
While the Barons are fighting just to get in the playoffs, the Grand Rapids Griffins are in second in the Western Conference, poised to make another postseason run.
“This will be a good test,” said Barons team captain Anton Lander. “Every game for us is huge right now. We’ve been playing really well but we’re going to have to continue to play well to make the playoffs.”
The Barons’ only home loss in the past eight weeks was a 5-4 shootout to Milwaukee a month ago.
“You always want to protect home ice,” said Barons general manager Bill Scott. “You should feel no one will come into your building and win. Our guys are taking pride in that. They’ve certainly provided a lot of excitement.”
There’s been some drama during the streak.
Six of the eight wins have been by one goal. The Barons twice won in the final four minutes of regulation, once in overtime and once in a shootout.
“That’s been big for us,” Lander said. “We’ve said since Christmas we needed to start winning games. We’re playing way better hockey right now. We’re playing hard, we’re playing tough.”
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Barons hot at home
A breakdown of the nine consecutive home games the Barons have not lost in regulation at the Cox Convention Center.
Jan. 18, Milwaukee (W 2-1): Bachman notches 32 saves.
Jan. 19, Milwaukee (W 5-4): OKC wins in a shootout.
Jan. 30, Toronto (W 5-3): Lander scores three points.
Feb. 14, Lake Erie (W 2-1): Lander’s PP goal the difference.
Feb. 15, Lake Erie (L 5-4): Barons lose in a shootout.
Feb. 28, Rockford (W 5-4): Pitlick scores 46 seconds into OT.
Mar. 1, Rockford (W 5-4): Fyten scores with 3:49 remaining.
Mar. 2, San Antonio (W 6-5): Davidson wins it with :39 left.
Mar. 11, San Antonio (W 5-2): Three power play goals.