Barons: Weekly Report
Zalesak return only bright spot
3/14/04 - by Craig Haueter
The Cleveland Barons
continued their best efforts to back into or even avoid the Calder Cup playoffs
with three losses and a tie this past week. Last night in Chicago, the Wolves
scored the opening four goals of the game in a 4-2 win against the Barons. For
the first time this season, Cleveland suffered back-to-back regulation losses.
Even with the loss, the Barons magic number for a playoff spot was lowered to
22 points due to a St. John's loss.
Newcomer from Johnstown of the
ECHL, Brent Kelly, notched his first goal with the Barons in the third period.
Jon DiSalvatore later scored his 17th goal of the season from Christian Ehrhoff
to cut the Chicago advantage to two goals. Dimitri Patzold took the loss in
goal for Cleveland, 0-2-0 since his recall from the ECHL due to the concussion
injury to Seamus Kotyk.
This week's slide into a third place tie
started last Sunday evening at home with a listless 4-1 defeat at the hands of
in-state rival Cincinnati. The Barons, playing their seventh game in 10 days
and with a makeshift lineup, clearly were a fatigued bunch of skaters. Down 2-0
early, the Barons managed a short-handed goal by right winger Jon DiSalvatore
later in the first period. However, Mighty Ducks winger Stanislov Chistov
answered with a huge slap shot from the right circle less than two minutes
later. Mark Popovic added an insurance goal for Cincinnati midway through the
final period. Neither head coach Roy Sommer pulling Patzold after one period or
Barons captain Tavis Hansen dropping the gloves with Juha Alen were able to
really spark the Barons. Defensemen Matt Carkner and Robert Mulick both missed
the game after sustaining injuries Saturday.
Wednesday night in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, a tight checking defensive hockey game produced no goals as
the Barons and Manitoba Moose met for the seventh time this season. Barons
goalie Nolan Schaefer recorded the first shutout in his AHL career with 20
saves and Alex Auld set a franchise record with his 12th career shutout on a
21-save effort for Manitoba. With less than two minutes remaining in
regulation, Jimmy Roy of the Moose was called for a high-sticking major on Doug
Murray. However, the Barons were unable to score on the golden opportunity that
carried over into overtime.
Despite the assignments of Miroslav Zalesak and
Christian Ehrhoff to the Barons from San Jose, the offensive woes continued for
Cleveland in Friday night's rematch with Manitoba at Winnipeg Arena. A
three-goal second period by the Moose led to a 5-1 win over the Barons. After
Brandon Reid opened the scoring for Manitoba at the 14:40 mark of period one,
Zalesak announced his return to the Cleveland lineup with his 31st goal of the
season on the power play one minute later. Manitoba scored three unanswered
goals in the second period chasing Barons goaltender Nolan Schaefer from his
net to complete the scoring. Fedor Fedorov, Sean Pronger and Brandon Reid all
scored for the Moose at even strength. Dimitri Patzold entered the game in
relief duty handling the final five shots on goal in the period and blanked the
Moose over the final 20 minutes as well.
Despite Miroslav Zalesak's brief promotion to San Jose, he remains near the top
of the AHL scoring leaders tied for second at 69 points, just one point behind
Eric Perrin of the Hershey Bears. Former Baron Brad Boyes, holds the fourth
spot wearing the Providence Bruins sweater.
The Barons' power play
ranks fourth in the AHL at 17.23% (46/267). However, their power play has
clearly missed the presence of Zalesak and Boyes. Since their promotion and
subsequent trade of Boyes, the Barons have converted only 1 of 21 power play
chances. The penalty kill continues to plague Cleveland with the Barons ranked
26th-only Wilkes-Barre and St. John's below them in the AHL penalty kill
Tomas Plihal returned to the Barons lineup this week after
missing three games with a leg injury. The injury bug continues to bite
defenseman Matt Carkner who missed action all week due to a shoulder injury.
Center Brent Kelly joined the Barons this week from Johnstown (ECHL). Kelly
spent last season in the AHL with the now defunct Saint John Flames.
Barons Statistical Leaders
Goals: Zalesak 31, DiSalvatore 17,
Hansen 15, Stafford 10, Clowe 10
Assists: Zalesak 38, Stafford 30,
Rissmiller 29, Clowe 22, Goc 19
Plus/Minus: Carkner +16, Mulick +9,
Clowe +9, Plihal +9, Fibiger +6
Games: Goc 66, Clowe 64, Zalesak 63,
Hansen 63, Rissmiller 61
PIM: Moscevsky 143, Carkner 105, Hansen 85,
Clowe 80, Zalesak 76
GAA: Kotyk 2.40, Schaefer 2.41, Patzold
SV%: Kotyk .929, Schaefer .924, Patzold .911
11, Schaefer 10, Patzold 8
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