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Beasts of the IHL East? Not after this road trip

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Cleveland 5, Utah 3

CLEVELAND — So much for the Utah Grizzlies' domination of the Eastern Conference.

For the second day in a row, the Grizz fell to a team from the East, falling to the Cleveland Lumberjacks, 5-3, Saturday afternoon.

Utah was 5-0 against teams from the East before losing to the Milwaukee Admirals 4-0 Friday night. The hard part for Utah was that it played Friday at 6:30 CST then had to turn around and play again at 12:30 p.m. EST.

Kai Nurminen had a goal and an assist, and Christian Matte had two goals and assisted on another to lead the Lumberjacks to the victory. Nurminen scored his fifth goal of the season at 13:08 of the third period to snap a 3-3 tie. Matte added an insurance goal with his team-leading seventh tally of the season at 15:33.

Greg Leeb scored less than four minutes into the game to give Utah the early advantage, 1-0. Cleveland responded with three unanswered goals by Nick Naumenko, Matte and Darryl Laplante to take a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.

Alan Letang scored late in the second stanza for the Grizzlies and Richard Jackman collected his first goal of the season at 13:08 of the third to tie it, 3-3.

Zac Bierk stopped 25 shots en route to his third win for the Lumberjacks, who improved their record to 5-1 at home. Rick Tabaracci made 30 saves but was the losing goalie for Utah, which fell 7-5 with two straight losses.