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Barons: Winning streak snapped by Griffins, 4-2
Three power play goals propel Grand Rapids to win
1/24/04 - by Craig Haueter

Despite holding Grand Rapids to a season low 16 shots on goal in the game, the Barons could not recover from three first period goals scored by the Griffins as their four-game winning streak came to an end Saturday night at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. Nathan Robinson scored a pair of goals and Michel Picard added three assists to lead the Grand Rapids scoring. With the victory, Grand Rapids extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games (7-0-3).

Grand Rapids took full advantage of the Barons penalty problems in the first period. Whistled for five minor penalties, the Barons surrendered three power play goals to the Griffins on four opportunities. While skating five-on-three, the Griffins grabbed an early lead on a slap shot from Derek King at the 4:19 mark. Tomas Kopecky followed with a power play tally of his own for a 2-0 lead at the 14:20 mark. Less than two minutes later, Nathan Robinson converted his 19th goal of the season for a third power play goal of the period and a 3-0 advantage. Finally with just under three minutes to play in the opening period, Jon DiSalvatore set up Patrick Rissmiller for his 9th goal of the season on a Barons power play of their own to cut the lead to two, snapping Rissmiller’s 19-game streak without a goal.

The second period saw Cleveland pull within one goal at the 12:32 mark. Craig Valette was led on a break from center ice with a great pass from Robert Mulick. Valette, getting hooked all the way down the ice by Grand Rapids Travis Richards, muscled his way to the net and shuffled the puck between the legs of Marc Lamothe.

Lamothe made 13 saves in the final period to preserve the win for Grand Rapids including several during a key five-minute power play by the Barons. Nathan Robinson’s second goal of the game put an end to the Barons comeback with 3:11 to play in the game. Even with the loss, the Barons won the season series with a 2-1-0-1 record against the Griffins who currently own the league’s best record. Cleveland returns to the ice Sunday night back in Cleveland to face Cincinnati and cap off a three-in-three weekend.

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