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Barons: Weekly Report 3/28
Barons whittle playoff magic number to three
3/28/04 - by Craig Haueter

As Cleveland bears down on a post-season berth, Jon DiSalvatore, Marcel Goc, Ryane Clowe and Grant Stevenson emerged to lead the Barons to two wins and a tie this week behind their combined 8 goals and 12 assists. The recently dormant power play for the Barons also broke loose racking up five goals in fifteen attempts.

Wednesday night at Gund Arena, the Barons jumped out to a 4-0 lead after just eight minutes and went on to defeat the Chicago Wolves by a score of 7-4. Rookie right winger Jon DiSalvatore notched his first career hat trick and forward Marcel Goc scored two goals. Not to be overshadowed by the offensive firepower of both teams in the first period, the middle stanza was filled with great defense and solid goaltending. The Barons successfully killed off two separate 5-on-3 Chicago power plays. Barons goalie Seamus Kotyk made the save of the game late in the second period as he robbed Brendan Yarema on a rebound shot in front of the goal with a diving save.

Barons defenseman Jesse Fibiger scored the flukiest of fluky goals Friday night in the first period at home against Toronto. With the Barons leading, 1-0, midway through the first, Fibiger attempted to dump the puck from the red line. As it zipped toward the left boards, Toronto goalie Tyler Moss moved behind the net to play it. The puck caromed off a support beam for the glass above the boards, took a hard right and skidded into a wide-open net. Fibiger finished with two goals to earn first star honors. Grant Stevenson, Nick Bootland and Marcel Goc also scored to lead Cleveland to a 5-2 win. Stevenson added an assist, giving him multi-point games in four of his last five. Nolan Schaefer returned to action in goal for the Barons after his brief call-up to San Jose turning in a solid effort with 35 saves. Cleveland's penalty killers were dominant in going 4-for-4. Toronto had minimal scoring opportunities as the Barons were effective in cutting off the passing lanes and not allowing rebound chances.

Saturday night in Cincinnati, the Barons fought back from a 3-1 deficit to gain a 3-3 tie with the Mighty Ducks. Shane Joseph's first professional goal with 2:46 remaining in regulation tied things up for good. For the 41st time this season, the Barons scored the first goal of the game as Ryane Clowe connected on a pass from Willie Levesque for Clowe's 11th goal of the season. Captain Tavis Hansen accounted for the other Barons tally with a power play goal midway through the second period. Tony Martensson had a goal and an assist to lead the Mighty Ducks.

The Barons return home Sunday night for a key division battle with Syracuse and then head out on the road for three key games this week at Syracuse, Toronto and Hamilton.

Barons notes

Jon DiSalvatore's first goal Wednesday night took a mere 11 seconds into the game setting a new Barons' record for fastest goal to open a game or a period this season, surpassing Miroslav Zalesak's at :17 on December 19.

Referee Scott Hoberg continued his pattern of leaving both teams frustrated after a game he works Wednesday night. He whistled both Yuri Moscevsky of the Barons and Shawn Heins of the Wolves for abuse of officials and in fact tossed Heins from the game as well. Hoberg issued an abusive language penalty to Craig Valette as they were leaving the ice after the second period and earlier in the period put the Barons in a 2-man disadvantage after tagging Christian Ehrhoff for misconduct after questioning Hoberg's hooking call against teammate Patrick Rissmiller.

A couple of incidents late in the game Friday night might make the return engagement next Friday night when the Barons travel to Toronto interesting. Toronto's enforcer Rocky Thompson shook up Nick Bootland with a jab to the head that left Bootland sprawled on the ice for several minutes. Barons defenseman Matt Carkner gave Thompson a face wash with his glove at the conclusion of the game in retaliation. In addition, Patrick Rissmiller of the Barons dropped the gloves with Jamie Wright of the Roadrunners. Not many punches were thrown, but by the time the two were separated, Wright had lost his gloves, jersey, helmet and upper body padding.

Cincinnati made both a rare request and received a rare penalty in return Saturday night. Immediately after Ryane Clowe's first period goal, the Mighty Ducks called for a stick measurement on Clowe. They were denied and received a delay-of-game penalty instead. It would not be hard for someone to question Clowe's recent offensive prowess, gaining 6 points in the last 3 games. Ryane is also known as an aggressive checker.

The Barons now have a weekly one-hour radio talk show on Monday evenings from 7pm-8 pm (eastern time) on WKNR 850-am. San Jose fans can call the show by dialing (216) 578-0850 or listen to the show on WKNR's website.

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