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Oklahoma City Barons: Veteran NHL players key Barons' win over Houston

Jonathan Cheechoo, Brett Clark combine for five points as Oklahoma City holds off Aeros at Cox Center.
By Mike Baldwin Published: February 22, 2013

Jonathan Cheechoo scored three more points Friday night for the Barons, but he isn't the only former NHL veteran general manager Bill Scott signed after the lockout ended that's making an impact.

Averaging nearly a point a game, veteran NHL defenseman Brett Clark chipped in two assists in Oklahoma City's 4-3 win over the Houston Aeros in front of 3,746 fans at the Cox Convention Center.

In his 16th professional season, Clark, 36, is playing in the American Hockey League for the first time in eight years after playing in every game with the Tampa Bay Lightning the past two seasons.

“I was sitting at home,” Clark said. “I love the game of hockey. Whether it's up there or down here, they gave me an opportunity to play ... It's really exciting. It's refreshed me.”

Clark has played in 681 NHL games with Montreal, Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado and Tampa Bay.

“Veterans bring patience,” said Clark, who has scored nine points in 10 games. “I notice when things don't go right the kids get a little worked up and start making some mistakes. That's what a veteran presence brings, calm the young kids down.”

Signing Clark, Cheechoo and defenseman Randy Jones helped fill some of the gap of losing the Oilers' four stars who returned to Edmonton after the NHL lockout ended.

“You can't replace guys like that. They're at another level,” Clark said. “When you lose guys like that the team has to come together. They went and found some veterans. We're stepping in, trying to get the job done as a group.”

Cheechoo, 32, has scored 15 points in 10 games since he signed with OKC a month ago. Cheechoo's sixth goal of the season, a top-shelf laser, gave OKC a 4-1 lead midway through the third period.

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