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Barons: Rare broken stick penalty sets up loss
Cleveland fails to hold 2-0 lead
1/16/04 - by Craig Haueter

The Rochester Americans took advantage of rookie Garrett Stafford’s unfortunate broken stick penalty late in the third period to convert a power play goal by Jason Dawe for a 4-3 win over the Barons Friday night at Blue Cross Arena. Stafford failed to drop his stick after breaking it while firing a slap shot from the point and attempted to use it while trying to poke-check the puck from Michael Ryan.

Neither team capitalized on power play chances in a scoreless first period. Ryan Miller made several key saves for the Amerks including a rebound try from Doug Murray, who was looking for his third goal in as many games. The Barons dominated play in the opening twenty minutes out shooting Rochester 16-8.

The Barons scored twice in the first 9:12 of the second period on a short-handed tally by Jon DiSalvatore who pounded a slap shot through the body of Ryan Miller then Grant Stevenson converted a Miroslav Zalesak pass into his sixth goal of the season. Rochester would storm back to the lead with three goals of their own before the period ended. Milan Bartovic’s short-handed goal at 10:38 sparked the rally. Domenic Pittis blocked Doug Murray’s point shot and the puck bounced out to center to Bartovic who sped away on a breakaway flipping the puck past goalie Nolan Schaefer for his 14th goal. Michael Ryan’s wrist shot goal at the 12:26 mark tied the game at two. The period’s only power play goal then gave Rochester their first lead of the night as Jason Pominville converted his 18th goal of the season with just 47 seconds remaining in the period.

Rochester started the charitable play in the third period as some sloppy play in their defensive zone allowed Patrick Rissmiller to find Tomas Plihal with the errant puck on the doorstep all alone, Plihal converted to tie the contest at 3-3. Stafford’s mental lapse four minutes later led to Dawe’s game-winner, Rochester’s second power play goal of the game. The Barons return to action tonight (Saturday) in Syracuse against the Crunch.

Barons Notes

Cleveland will be without the services of defenseman Matt Carkner this weekend. He is suffering from several ailments including his throat and shoulder. Carkner should be available next weekend according to coach Roy Sommer. Carkner leads the club with a +11 rating. He is the first player in franchise history to eclipse a +10 at any point in the season.

Goalie Seamus Kotyk has returned from injury and was to make the trip with Cleveland. However, Kotyk will join the NHL Sharks in Colorado Saturday night while San Jose’s goalie Evgeni Nabokov and his wife await the birth of their first child back in San Jose.

The Barons Player of the Week is defenseman Doug Murray. Murray scored two goals last weekend, one each in Hamilton and Grand Rapids. The 6’3”, 240-pounder was even for the week and took 6 shots. He is known for his bone-jarring checks.

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