BY RYAN ABER
A couple of short notes before the Barons take on Rockford at 7:05 tonight (KTOK-AM 1000):
-Barons coach Todd Nelson said newly recalled winger Jesse Gimblett could make his Barons debut tonight depending on the health of other players but seemed less inclined to play Gimblett after the game than in pregame talks.
Before the 4-2 win over Manitoba on Friday, Nelson said Gimblett’s size made him a likely candidate to enter the lineup against a physical Rockford team. But given the way the Barons played against the Moose, Nelson said he wasn’t inclined to switch things up.
The most likely switch for Gimblett would’ve been with Phillippe Cornet, who was regularly a scratch before Linus Omark and Ryan O’Marra were recently recalled. But Cornet played a solid game Friday, likely earning himself another game in the lineup.
“I want to get Jesse into a game, I’m just not sure when,” Nelson said. “I don’t know when it’s going to be. It’s pretty hard to make a chance right now but we’ll see.
“I thought Phil Cornet played his best game of the year. Making his case. That was great for us to see.”
-Nelson was particularly impressed with the play of Jeff Petry in Friday’s game. Petry scored a goal on a coast-to-coast move that finished with a wraparound and also played solid defense in the win.
“He’s got a great shot, moves the puck like a pro,” Nelson said. “He’s just playing with more confidence. He’s playing better away from the puck. That’s what we were trying to get him to do. He’s more aware in the D-zone.
“He’s coming along nicely. He’s going to be a special player in the future.”
-Nelson was also happy with the play of center Dave Bonk. Bonk, playing on a line with Liam Reddox and Teemu Hartikainen, played a lot especially early.
“I thought he was great tonight,” Nelson said. “That’s the way he plays. He’s very dependable down low and he’s very creative. In the first period, I think he had some opportunities. That line was good for us. I thought Hartikainen picked up his game.”
Hartikainen and Alexandre Giroux played together on a line coming off penalty kills.
-Former Oklahoma City Blazers winger Wade Brookbank is expected to be in Rockford’s lineup tonight.
Brookbank played for the Blazers in 1999-2000, racking up 354 penalty minutes in 68 games.
The 33-year-old has played 18 games for the IceHogs, scoring a goal to go along with 18 penalty minutes.
“Those guys don’t kill the majority of penalties so after a big kill, we want to get some offense going so we throw them out there,” Nelson said.