Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oklahoma City Barons Game 6 Preview vs. Hamilton Bulldogs

Win or it's over. The Barons head into today facing their first playoff elimination game in franchise history. The last time they had this kind of pressure though, they went into San Antonio and beat them 7-2 and into Austin the next night and beat the Stars 2-0. Different teams, different situation, but the pressure to win was still there and they didn't fold.

Following the Barons first loss, Todd Nelson changed the lines around to find some chemistry. After a shutout loss in Game 5, it'll be interesting to see if they get shuffled for tonight's game. Probably the biggest question is if Anthony Aiello will get the start again, with both Colten Teubert and Kevin Montgomery still out with upper body injuries. Brandon Davidson has been practicing with the main group as the 7th defenseman.

The top two keys to today's game, first is shutting down Nigel Dawes. The Bulldogs are 3-0 in the games that he has scored this series. The second is the top line of Alexandre Giroux, Brad Moran, and Colin McDonald. To have the top 3 scorers on the team during the regular season have only 1 goal and 1 assist each this whole series is not good. If they're able to get back where they were and the other 3 lines back to where they were in Game 3, winning these next two games won't be hard.

The Barons look to become the 7th AHL team to win both games 6 and 7 on the road. Binghamton became the 6th team last night, closing out the Manchester Monarchs in overtime. Elsewhere, the Lake Erie Monsters look to close out the Manitoba Moose for the 2nd time. The Moose avoided elimination in their last game winning 2-0. The Monsters hold on to a 3-2 series lead there. Their game is at the same time as the Barons.

Puck drops at 3:00 Central/2:00 Mountain today. You can listen on 96.1 KXY in OKC, or on The Team 1260 in Edmonton. You can watch the game on AHL Live as well($$). And you can follow me on Twitter, @AHLBarons, as well. Hopefully I'll be writing up one of these tomorrow, but time will tell.

-Written by Eric Rodgers-

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