Barons: Weekly Report
Barons creep toward first playoff
3/21/04 - by Craig Haueter
Cleveland Barons broke a seven-game winless streak this week with an impressive
4-2 win at home versus division-leading Hamilton Wednesday night and held on
for an exciting 4-3 win Saturday night at Cincinnati. Barons' goaltender
Dimitri Patzold led the rebound this week starting all 3 games in net, a 2-1-0
record with a .943 save percentage and 2.01 goals against average. Offensively,
the Barons were sparked by center Grant Stevenson who registered 5 points on
the week (2 goals, 3 assists).
Saturday night in Cincinnati, Steve
Hildenbrand, who joined the Barons two hours prior to the game, scored the
third-period go-ahead goal and assisted on Jon DiSalvatore's eventual
power-play game-winner in Cleveland's 4-3 win over the Mighty Ducks.
Hildenbrand signed a 25-game PTO contract after leading Johnstown of the ECHL
in scoring with 27 goals and 30 assists in 63 games. Goaltender Dimitri Patzold
made 41 saves on the night. After Cincinnati cut the lead to 4-3 on Pierre
Parenteau's goal with 5:59 left, Patzold preserved the win with a sprawling
save of Keith Aucoin's point-blank shot with 10 seconds left. The Barons killed
eight of Cincinnati's 10 power plays.
The Barons scored their first
goal in more than four periods when Miroslav Zalesak took a pass from Tavis
Hansen and rifled a high 10-footer past Cincinnati goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on the
power play with 4:43 left in the first period. Cincinnati needed less than two
minutes to tie the score on Tony Martensson's 11th goal of the season. Garrett
Stafford gave Cleveland a 2-1 lead with his 12th goal of the season 1:18 into
the second period, but Martensson tied the game with a 15-foot slap shot six
minutes later in the period.
The Cincinnati Mighty Ducks held the
Barons to just 19 shots on goal Friday night en route to a 1-0 shutout of the
Barons at the Cincinnati Gardens. Just 2:17 into the first period, Chris Kunitz
scored the only goal of the game by wristing a shot past Patzold from the right
circle on a rush into the Barons defensive zone. The only excitement the Barons
could muster on the evening was 3 separate fisticuffs in the second period.
Nick Bootland squared off in a fight with Sheldon Brookbank and dropped the
Cincinnati defender with one punch. Doug Murray then fought Josh Gratton and
Ryane Clowe battled Shane O'Brien.
Grant Stevenson set a career-high
with a 3-point night Wednesday as he led the Barons to a 4-2 victory over the
North Division leading Hamilton Bulldogs at Gund Arena. Stevenson's inspired
play coincided with his reunion with former college teammate Shane Joseph, who
was signed to a PTO contract earlier in the day. Stevenson and Joseph were
teammates with Minnesota State University-Makato as they led the Mavericks to
their school's first-ever NCAA Frozen Four Tournament berth in 2003.
The Barons strong play in the first period established a 3-0 lead on goals by
Nick Bootland, Garrett Stafford and Grant Stevenson's first of two goals on the
evening. Cleveland extended the advantage to 4-0 early in the second period on
a short-handed tally. Stevenson recorded his second goal of the game as he
skated alongside Ryane Clowe on a 2-on-1 break towards the Hamilton net.
Stevenson kept the puck and fired a hard shot from the
right circle past Bulldogs' goalie Olivier Michaud, who replaced Jean-Francois
Damphousse after the first period. Chris Higgins got the Bulldogs on the board
as he skated in on a rebound chance with Dimitri Patzold sprawled on the ice.
Duncan Milroy's power play goal at the 9:00 mark snuck by Patzold as he tipped
in a Ron Hainsey shot to make the score 4-2. Hamilton finished the remaining
1:18 of the game with two extra attackers as the Barons had Christian Ehrhoff
in the penalty box and Michaud on the bench in favor of an extra attacker.
Patzold was able to make some key saves to preserve the advantage.
Going into Saturday night's game in Cincinnati, the
Barons' power play had suffered through a 1-27 slump since the departure of
Brad Boyes. The Barons were afforded seven power play chances during the
contest and finally broke loose with power play goals by Miroslav Zalesak and
Jon DiSalvatore. Despite the recent slump, the Barons still rank third in the
AHL on the power play with a 17.14% success rate.
Barons forward Yuri
Moscevsky, detained recently in Canada for several days, returned to the club
this week. Canadian authorities had passport and immigration issues with
Moscevsky. San Jose recalled goaltender Nolan Schaefer from Cleveland Monday to
replace injured backup Vesa Toskala.
The Barons face a busy week ahead
with home games with Chicago, Toronto and Syracuse as well as another trip to
the Queen City to play the Mighty Ducks next Saturday night.
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