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Barons: 6-game road trip ends on winning note
Move four games over .500 for first time this season
1/18/04 - by Craig Haueter

Seamus Kotyk and the Barons defeated the Hershey Bears Sunday night at the Giant Center 3-1. After being injured on December 20th, Kotyk’s return was delayed by a recall to San Jose this weekend. The victory wrapped up a six-game road trip where the Barons posted an impressive 3-2-0-1 record. In addition, Cleveland beat Hershey for the first time since rejoining the AHL in 2001-02.

David Cloutier’s first goal of the season gave the Barons a 1-0 lead at the 7:49 mark of the opening period. Hershey failed to connect on their only power play chance of the period but took advantage of a 4-on-4 play with the tying goal from Shane Willis, his third goal in the past two games. The Barons out chanced the Bears 16-8 during the middle period but could not break the 1-1 tie.

With less than six minutes to play in the game, a flurry of activity quickly decided the outcome. Just after Kotyk stopped a Shane Willis breakaway, Hershey defenseman Brett Clark was unable to come up with a loose puck in his skates at the other end. Grant Stevenson then was able to catch goalie Tom Lawson off guard by ripping a shot from between the bottom of the right circle and the goal line to give the Barons a 2-1 lead. Jon DiSalvatore scored into an empty net with 18.3 seconds remaining to wrap up the scoring.

Along with the win and a 35-save performance, Kotyk assisted on the empty net goal by DiSalvatore for the first point recorded by a Barons goalie this season. The Barons return to home ice on Wednesday and Friday to host the Houston Aeros.

Hershey had won all seven previous meetings with the new Barons, including a December 19th overtime contest at Gund Arena.

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