April 29, 2006 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - Cleveland Barons
(Parma, OH)- The Cleveland Jr. Barons of the North American Hockey League claimed their first division championship in their twelve year history. The Barons defeated the USA National Development Program 3-2 last night in Ann Arbor, MI to win the best of 7 game series 4-3 and completed their come comeback being down 3 -1 .
After a thrilling game six where Barons forward Josh Leonard (Allen Park, MI) scored in overtime to force game seven, the Barons came out determined and focused in the final game of the series. The Barons would jump out to a 1-0 lead after the first period on a goal by Ryan Ward (Saline, MI) with the assists going to john Kennedy (Saginaw, MI) and Eric Rex (Fairview , PA). In the second period the Barons would jump out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Joe Greener ( Basingstoke, England) from Brett Jendra (Darien, IL) and Chris Reed (Solon, OH). Barons forward Eric Rex would extend the lead to 3-0 with the assists going to Ryan Ward and Trent Bonnett ( Butler, PA). The USA would cut the lead to 3-1 after two periods on a goal by Brennan Vargas.
In the third period, USA would get a power play goal by Justin Vaive with the extra attacker on the ice to cut the lead to 3-2 with two minutes left in the period. Barons goalie, Bobby Jarosz (Crystal Lake, IL) would slam the door to give Cleveland its first division title, Jarosz would finish the game with 39 saves.
The Barons now advance to the NAHL Robertson Cup Finals in Boardman, OH on May 10th thru 13th. The Barons will join two time defending champions Texas Tornado, the Southern Minnesota Express, the Bozeman Icedogs and the host Mahoning Valley Phantoms.
The Barons will play the Bozeman Icedogs in the opening game of the
tournament on Wednesday, May 10th at 2:00PM. For further information, call
440-886-0512 or crash the net at www.clevelandbarons.com