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Barons: Schaefer’s 32-save effort leads to 3-2 win
Leap frog over Syracuse into 4th place
1/17/04 - by Craig Haueter

Tomas Plihal scored the game-winner and Nolan Schaefer earned his fourth win of the season as the Cleveland Barons put together a solid sixty minutes of hockey Saturday night in Syracuse to defeat the Crunch 3-2.

Syracuse grabbed an early lead with a power play strike from their leading scorer, Don MacLean, at the 6:12 mark of the first period. The Barons answered less than two minutes later on the 13th goal of the season by Brad Boyes, a power play tally. Miroslav Zalesak assisted on Boyes’ goal and has now recorded a point in eight consecutive games and 17 out of the last 18 contests. Zalesak, selected to represent Team PlanetUSA at the 2004 AHL All-Star Classic, is tied for the league scoring lead with 47 points.

The Barons dominated the second period out-shooting Syracuse 14-9 and scoring the only goal of the period. With an aggressive fore-check, the Barons drew three consecutive penalties from the Crunch eventually leading to a power play goal from Garrett Stafford. The goal from Stafford gives him 9 points in his 5 games against the Crunch this season.

Syracuse tied the game at 2-2 just 31 seconds into the final period as Don MacLean scored his second goal of the night. Strong fore-checking again by Cleveland led to the eventual game-winner from Tomas Plihal with just over seven minutes to play. After a shot from the right point by Greg Labenski, Plihal tipped home a shot past Crunch goalie Karl Goehring. The goal by Plihal extended his own point-scoring streak to six games. Tonight (Sunday) in Hershey, the Barons conclude their six game road trip against the Bears, top affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche.

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