| Hot goaltending makes for
Barons salvage win to start
11/21/04 - by Craig
Solid play from Garrett Stafford and a slight edge in a
battle of goaltenders, led the Cleveland Barons to a 3-1 victory over the
Houston Aeros at Gund Arena Thursday night. Despite out-shooting the Aeros
47-25, The Barons held a slim 2-1 advantage right up to Patrick Rissmiller's
empty net goal with 34 seconds remaining. Goalie Josh Harding kept the Aeros in
the contest throughout the evening. Jim Fahey and Garrett Stafford scored the
other goals for Cleveland. Dimitri Patzold recorded 24 saves, only surrendering
a power play goal while Houston held a two-man advantage early in the second
period. The Barons are now 4-1-1-1 when scoring the first goal. Forty-seven
shots in a game represents a season high for the Barons.
Drew MacIntyre, making only his third appearance this season for Grand Rapids,
held the Barons at bay after surrendering an early goal to Craig Valette in the
first period and came up big at the end of the game to lead the Griffins to 3-2
win over Cleveland Friday night at Gund Arena. A pair of Eric Manlow power play
goals in the first period gave Grand Rapids a 2-1 lead going into the second
stanza. Physical play prevailed over offensive prowess in the second, as
neither team managed to score in the period.
The Barons tied up the
game on a power play midway through the third period, when forward Tomas Plihal
scored on a textbook drop pass from Shane Joseph. Derek Meech scored the
game-winner at the 14:51 mark on a fluke shot from the neutral zone on Barons
goalie Nolan Schaefer. In the midst of a Barons line change, Meech carried the
puck over the red line on the far side and fired the unexpected low-flying
shot, grazing the right post before darting into the net.
up the test in the final two minutes, stopping a Barons power play in the wake
of cross checking penalty to Travis Richards of the Griffins. The final minute
was especially nerve-wracking as the Barons pulled Schaefer to give them a 6th
attacker and a two-man advantage.
Saturday night in an encore meeting
in Grand Rapids, Matt Ellis scored two goals and Joey MacDonald made 33 saves
as the Griffins defeated the Barons, 5-0. The Barons failed to score on three
power play chances, including a penalty shot, and trailed 3-0 after one period
of play. The Griffins scored one goal early and one goal late for a 5-0 lead
after two periods. Nathan Robinson led the Griffins offense with a goal and two
assists. MacDonald recorded his third shutout of the year and his franchise
best 12th shutout of his career. The Barons did out-shoot Grand Rapids 33-28 in
the game. Grand Rapids, AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, is now a
perfect 3-0-0-0 versus Cleveland in the early season.
Grand Rapids was without arguably their best skater, left
winger, Jiri Hudler, who returned Tuesday to the Czech Republic to visit his
ailing father. Hudler will be absent indefinitely.
The weekend matchup
with Grand Rapids represented a reunion of the Bootland brothers-Barons left
winger Nick, 26, and Griffins right winger, Darryl, 23. Darryl won the points
battle this time with two assists Friday night.
A pleasant sight Friday
night at Gund Arena was the return of Barons defenseman Doug Murray to action
after missing 11 games due to a hip injury. He contributed several of his
bone-jarring checks and added an assist on Tomas Plihal's power play
A quick whistle on two occasions by referee Steve
Kozari cost the Barons good opportunities near the Grand Rapids net Friday
night. In both instances, the puck was clearly still in the play. The second
premature stop came with 37 seconds left in the game as Kozari blew the puck
dead behind the net with the Barons on a power play.
The Barons will
host the Second Annual Halloran Holiday Skate with the Barons on Sunday,
December 5th from 1-4pm at Halloran Park in Cleveland. The entire Barons roster
will take shifts skating with families throughout the day. Complimentary hot
cocoa, hot dogs and popcorn will be available at the free event.
Cleveland Barons player of the week is goaltender Nolan Schaefer. Schaefer
broke out of a 0-5-0 streak in a big way. He held Manitoba, who are 4th in the
league in scoring, to just two goals. In addition, Schaefer was perfect in the
overtime period and stopped 4 out of 5 players to earn the Barons first
shootout victory. He followed that up two nights later with a 33-save shutout
at Hamilton. He also helped turn aside a 5-minute major early in the third
period. In total, Schaefer was 2-0-0 with a 0.96 goals against average and a
.968 save percentage.
Christian Ehrhoff, a defenseman, leads the Barons
in shots with 58 on the season. Those 58 shots are second among all AHL
defensemen and tied for 4th overall. Ehrhoff tied a Barons franchise record on
November 6th against Hamilton with 10 shots.
Binghamton co-coach John
Paddock (Ottawa) became just the third man in AHL history to earn 500 career
victories with a recent shootout win over Hamilton. Paddock made his debut
behind the bench with the Maine Mariners in 1982. He is the only man in AHL
history to lead three different teams to Calder Cup championships (Maine,
Four teams are off to blazing starts in the AHL
this season. Manchester (Los Angeles) is off to a 13-1-0-0 start, Philadelphia
(Philadelphia) is 13-2-0-0, Edmonton (Edmonton) is 11-3-2-1 and defending
champion Milwaukee (Nashville) is 11-1-1-1.
|What did you think of
this article? Post your comments on the