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GRIFFINS FIGHT FOR POINT IN 3-2 SOL

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Bryan Helmer’s 100th professional goal and 41 saves by Joey MacDonald were not enough to stop the Cleveland Barons (14-12-1-2) from defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins (18-9-1-1) 3-2 in a shootout on Wednesday night at Gund Arena.

The shootout loss is the first for the Griffins since February 14, 2001 when they dropped a 4-3 decision to Orlando.

The Barons tallied the game’s first goal when Josh Prudden lit the lamp at 11:34 of the first period.

The Griffins, who were unable to capitalize on a five-minute major power play early in the contest, found themselves shorthanded nine times throughout the contest, four of which came in the opening frame.

Grand Rapids tied the game when Ernie Hartlieb dug the puck out of a scrum in the corner and fed a pass into the left wing circle. Eric Manlow stepped into the pass and one-timed a shot through Dimitri Patzold at 1:40 of the second period. The goal ended the Griffins scoreless streak at 111:18 dating back to Matt Ellis’s goal on Friday night in Utah. For Manlow, the goal is his team-leading 12th of the season.

Christian Ehrhoff regained Cleveland’s one-goal cushion when he uncorked a 40-foot blast inside the goal post at 15:43 of the middle frame for a rare power play tally. Coming into the game, the Griffins had killed their last 14 man-down situations against the Barons. Ehrhoff’s marker came on Cleveland’s seventh power play opportunity of the night.

With just over two minutes remaining in regulation, the Barons took an ill-advised penalty giving Grand Rapids a power play. The Griffins capitalized on the advantage when Helmer blasted his 100th professional goal with just 41 seconds remaining in regulation.

Todd Robinson was the lone Griffin to penetrate Patzold in the shootout, while Garrett Stafford and Doug Murray found the twine behind MacDonald.

Patzold made 20 saves and stopped four of the five attempts in the shootout. MacDonald stopped three of the five shootout attempts.

The Griffins will travel to Chicago to play the Wolves on Thursday at 8 p.m. for their last game before Christmas.


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