Former Vernon Vipers forwards-twins Connor and Kellen Jones & the
American Hockey League (AHL) Oklahoma City Barons won the sixth longest playoff game in AHL history Thursday after a 2-1 overtime victory over former Vernon Vipers forward Mike Zalewski (2010-2012) & the Utica Comets in Game 1 of the best-of-seven AHL Western Conference semifinal series.
Connor & Kellen both played four years in Vernon (2006-2010) are in their first season with the Barons. Both brothers also spent time with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Bakersfield Condors. The Jones Twins signed their first pro contract with the Barons on April 3rd 2014. The Barons assigned the Jones Twins to Bakersfield after Training camp this season before the pair went back and fourth between the ECHL & AHL this regular season.
In 163 regular season games with the Vipers. Connor collected (80-goals-118-assists-198-points) Connor also is the Vipers all-time franchise points leader (regular season & playoffs) with 228 & all-time franchise goals leader (regular season & playoffs) with 95.
Kellen played in 154 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (39-goals-134-assists-173-points). Kellen is also the all-time franchise assists leader (regular season & playoffs) with 150. Kellen was drafted in Round 7 of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft #202 overall by the Edmonton Oilers.
Connor Jones Player Profile:
Kellen Jones Player Profile:
This is in the Edmonton Journal Newspaper:
Kellen and Connor Jones dominant as Oilers farm team wins sixth longest playoff game in AHL history.
May 8, 2015
The Jones boys, Connor and Kellen, are too old and too small to be considered top NHL prospects, but they put in a dominant performance in the sixth longest playoff game in American Hockey League history on Thursday night and Friday morning.
The game ended early in the fourth overtime, when the Barons big line of Justin Wilians and Curtis and Ryan Hamilton combined on a goal, with Curtis Hamilton spinning in the slot on a scrambled play and firing in a loose puck.
But it was the Jones boys and their linemate, fierce Matt Ford, who led the way for the Edmonton Oilers farm team in Oklahoma City.
Kellen and Connor are both 5-feet, 10-inches, 185-pounds. They will be 25 in August. Kellen was an Oilers 7th round draft pick with Connor signing on as a free agent. The two both spent four full years at Quinnipiac University, where they were strong college players. They started this year in Bakersfield in the ECHL, then got promoted to OKC, where they struggled to score much, Connor with 10 points in 41 games, Kellen with 15 in 49.
But the firm of Jones, Jones and Ford buzzed the Utica Comets all night. Kellen scored the first Barons goal. He contributed to eight scoring chances, with Connor chipping in on nine and Ford a team high 11. They play a fast, smart, pesky brand of hockey, using good wheels and superlative passing to gain advantage. Utica had no answer for them, though the line did slow down as the game dragged on. Perhaps they ran their own selves ragged.
* Jujhar Khaira is big and young enough to be a prospect. He also shows skill with the puck, but he’s got to demonstrate a bit more smarts with it, making sure he gets the puck out of the Barons’ zone when he’s got the chance, and gets it deep into the Comets’ zone when he’s got the chance. He’s got to play a simple, tough, straight line game, advancing the puck from zone to zone and hitting people. He does that some of the time but has to do it all of the time.
* Martin Marincin had a much better game. He hadn’t looked himself in the three-game sweep of San Antonio, but was skating and moving the puck well against Utica. He and his partner Jordan Oesterle were the most effective pairing on the Barons blueline.
* Darnell Nurse was a healthy scratch for the game and it might be hard to find a spot for him on a team on a four-game playoff winning streak right now. That said, Dillon Simpson struggled at times against Utica, so it might make sense to slot in Nurse there.
* Richard Bachman was his usual steady self in net. He made 56 saves, while Utica’s Jacob Markstrom made 66. Bachman is small for a pro goalie, but he could take this Barons team far. That said, after so much work on Thursday, it would be no surprise to see Laurent Brossoit in net for tongight’s rematch.
* Ryan Hamilton and Curtis Hamilton continue to play dominant and heavy hockey at the AHL level. If this team goes far, they will be a big part of the reason.