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Barons finding wins hard to come by so far in 2005
Finish grueling five-game-in-six-night stretch with only a win to show for it
1/10/05 - by Craig Haueter

In a week that saw the Barons start in Winnipeg, Manitoba and end with a three-in-three weekend at home in front of the top brass from San Jose, the common threads throughout the week were lack of goals and lack of wins. Only an impressive 33-save shutout by goalie Nolan Schaefer Saturday night over Grand Rapids saved Cleveland from being swept. To compound matters, the Barons were outscored 14-5 by their opponents in those five games. The downward spiral started Tuesday night in Winnipeg when the Barons surrendered three goals in less than four minutes in the third period to lose 3-2 to the Moose.

January 4 – Cleveland 2 @ Manitoba 3

A late surge from the Manitoba Moose led to the Barons third consecutive defeat on their road trip through Western Canada. Nolan Schaefer was exceptional for the Barons with 28 saves in the losing effort. Jim Fahey and Christian Ehrhoff scored for Cleveland while Ryan Kesler and Josh Green scored for the Moose. Kesler scored a pair of goals in the contest. Moose goaltender Alex Auld won in net after returning from Switzerland where he represented his country at the Spengler Cup.

January 5 – Cleveland 0 @ Manitoba 3

Jason King and Ryan Kesler led the Moose to victory Wednesday night. Kesler continued his torrent scoring against the Barons with a goal and an assist. Kesler now has five goals and five assists versus Cleveland this season. King added three assists to aid the cause for Manitoba. Dimitri Patzold took the loss in net for the Barons.

January 7 – Rochester 4 @ Cleveland 1

Having concluded a fruitless four-game road trip through Edmonton and Manitoba, the AHL schedule makers did the Barons no favor in bringing the division-leading Rochester to town to welcome them home. Rookie winger Daniel Paille notched a hat trick, including a shorthanded penalty shot in the second period. The Barons lost despite holding a 37-25 advantage in shots. Tim Conboy tallied the lone Cleveland goal.

January 8 – Grand Rapids 0 @ Cleveland 2

Patrick Rissmiller scored a pair of goals and Nolan Schaefer posted his fifth career shutout to lead the Barons to victory. With the shutout, Schaefer broke the tie he had with Vesa Toskala for the Barons franchise record. The win snapped a five-game Barons’ losing streak. Rissmiller earned his second two-goal game of the season.

January 9 – Grand Rapids 4 @ Cleveland 0

Grand Rapids jumped out to a 3-0 in the first period and never looked back on Sunday evening. The win broke a nine-game winless streak for the Griffins. Matt Ellis scored a pair of goals for Grand Rapids and Darryl Bootland and Ryan Barnes added the other two tallies. Drew MacIntyre shutout the Barons while facing 26 shots and drew revenge on Barons’ goalie Nolan Schaefer after Schaefer shutout the Griffins and MacIntyre the night before. Barons notes

The Barons have competed in several 5-games-in-7-nights stretches over the years, but the five games played in a six-day stretch represents a new franchise record.

Cleveland and Syracuse have yet to play this season. They will quickly take care of that problem this week facing each other in three consecutive games starting Wednesday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. They will then move to Syracuse for games Friday and Saturday night. The Barons will not return home for a game until January 25th. Wednesday night’s game in Columbus versus the Crunch will represent the first Barons game televised locally.

The Cleveland Barons Hockey Insider Show will make its debut Monday night (January 10th) from 5-6 PM Pacific Coast Time. The weekly show will be hosted by The Voice of the Barons Jamie Smock and can be heard via the internet on http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/.

The Cleveland Barons Player of the Week is left winger Ryane Clowe. Last week, Clowe totaled 2 goals and 4 assists in four games. On the week, Clowe figured in 60% of the Barons goals (6/10).

Onlookers at Gund Arena Friday night witnessed a strange sequence midway through the first period. With play set to resume by a faceoff, Amerks winger Sean McMorrow and Barons winger Mike Hoffman dropped the gloves. Referee Terry Koharski skated in between, spoke to the players and stopped the fight before it began, much to the confusion of all observers. Seconds later after the puck was dropped, McMorrow and Hoffman went at it and earned roughing penalties.

As it turns out, Koharski did each a favor. Because the puck had not dropped, McMorrow and Hoffman would have been subject to a league suspension. Once the roughing penalties expired, McMorrow jumped Hoffman and pinned him against the boards. For his efforts during the second go-around, McMorrow earned a fighting major and instigator penalty, which carries a 10-minute misconduct. He finished with 21 penalty minutes on the night and now has 104 in 18 games.

Barons fans were surprised to see Garrett Stafford playing right wing over the weekend at home with Patrick Rissmiller and Ryane Clowe as line mates.

One of life’s embarrassing moments struck goalie Dimitri Patzold Friday night in the second period. Patzold was in the process of retrieving a puck out in front of the goal during a Barons power play and had it stolen by Daniel Paille. To save Paille from scoring, Patzold tossed his stick at the puck that earned a penalty shot for Rochester. Paille consequently converted the penalty shot.

Rochester defenseman Brandon Smith was checked hard into the boards behind the Amerks net Friday night in the third period and left with assistance to the locker room. Smith did not return to the game.

Something certainly had to give Saturday night when Grand Rapids came to town. The Griffins were winless in their last eight games (0-7-0-1) and the Barons were winless in their last five games (0-5-0-0) and 0-4 to start the 2005 portion of the schedule. With Cleveland leading 2-0 after two period, the Barons had to feel pretty good about ending that losing streak. The Barons are now 10-1-1-0 when leading after two periods.

Gund Arena staff were busy Saturday afternoon. The Cavaliers of the NBA played the New York Knicks in a nationally-televised game in the afternoon and quickly converted the arena to hockey in time for the game Saturday night. Game time was 8 PM, an hour later than usual.

Hockey fans at Gund Arena got a chance to watch a couple of grizzled veterans this weekend in Chris Taylor of Rochester and Travis Richards of Grand Rapids. Taylor, 32, was originally drafted by the New York Islanders back in 1990 and has spent parts of six seasons in Rochester. Richards, soon to be 35 in March, was drafted back in 1988 by the Minnesota North Stars. This is his 9th season in Grand Rapids.


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