ROCKFORD, Ill. — Philippe Cornet, the American Hockey League leader in goals, scored twice Saturday night during the Oklahoma City Barons' 3-1 victory over the Rockford Ice Hogs before 3,326 fans in the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Cornet scored his 14th goal of the season 1:06 into the second period while Oklahoma City was on the power play. He added No. 15 at 2:41 of the third period, an even-strength goal that gave the Barons a 2-0 lead. Cornet has a three-goal advantage over the next-best players. Kyle Palmieri of Syracuse, David Ullstrom of Bridgeport Sound, Brett Sterling of Peoria and Carter Ashton of Norfolk all have 12 goals.
Brian Connelly drew Rockford (8-10-1-0) within 2-1 with a power-play goal with 7:23 left in the game. But Barons forward Ryan O'Marra added an empty-netter with 1:03 remaining after Rockford pulled goaltender Alexander Salak for an extra attacker.
Oklahoma City goaltender David LeNeveu improved to 4-1-1 while making 30 saves. The Barons (14-5-0-1) took sole possession of first place in the Western Conference's West Division with 29 standings points. Abbotsford, which was tied with the Barons after Friday night's games, was idle Saturday.
*BARON BITES: Barons defenseman Alex Plante was with the team just long enough to break a sweat. For the second time in five days, Plante was recalled by the Edmonton Oilers. He was expected to join the Oilers in time for Saturday night's game in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.
Plante was called up by the Oilers on Tuesday and played that night as Edmonton won 6-2 at Nashville. He was returned to the Barons on Friday and played that night, a 5-4 victory at Grand Rapids. Overall, it is the third time this season the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Plante has been called up to the Oilers, who have been winning despite various injuries on defense.
*Oklahoma City wraps up its three-games-in-three-nights road trip at 4 p.m. Sunday against Grand Rapids. The Barons trimmed the Griffins — the Detroit Red Wings' affiliate — 5-4 Friday night.