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Rivermen Outlast Griffins 3-2
Penalty killing costs team in loss...
By Jason Kasiorek

Grand Rapids kicked off the second half in better shape that at any time in the last month, featuring a full complement of regular defenseman. In fact the only regular that was not available last night was Kris Newbury nursing a minor injury. The difference was apparent on the ice, but unfortunately not on the scoreboard as the Griffins fell 3-2 to Peoria. Evan McGrath and Doug Janik scored for Grand Rapids while netminder Daniel larsson made 25 saves in the loss. The Rivermen scored all three of their goals on powerplays in the second period.

GR came out with as much energy as I have seen in weeks. They carried play the first half of the period until a couple of penalties tilted the game to Peoria's favor. Nylander set up Pyett in the slot for a wicked one timer that stunned Cam Paddock. The rugged rivermen winger had a tough time getting off the ice and had to go down the hall for treatment. Ritola got worked over in the corner by frequent Griffins nemesis Mitch Love leading to some pushing and shoving before Griffins captain Jamie Tardif left the bench to challenge him. Tardif skated right over, dropped the gloves and grabbed Love. The two squared off at center ice with Tardif taking the worst of it, but Love did take some lumps of his own. Jamie got the extra two for instigating and a ten minute misconduct. Grand Rapids dodged a bullet, killing off a pair of penalties as time ran out. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - PEO 13.

The Griffins luck ran out midway through the second when Peoria took advantage of a bad line change to score a powerplay goal. Bishop spotted the opening and sent a long pass up ice that Pelletier blew past Larsson for a 1-0 lead. Peoria made it 2-0 with another powerplay marker with Nylander in the box for elbowing. Lampman took advantage of a lot of traffic in front to blast a long low shot that was redirected by Pelletier in front. Grand Rapids answered back a minute later when Williams shot the puck and it went in off McGrath's hip in the goalmouth. Late in the period, the powerplay cost GR again when Tallackson scored to make it 3-1. Larsson made a diving save, but no one was there to help him out, and Tallackson picked up the rebound and buried it into the empty net. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - PEO 13.

Mursak got roughed up in front of the net by Richmond and shoved him back. Richmond dropped the gloves and Mursak followed suit, giving the Rivermen rearguard a thorough beat down. Lemieux doing a great job of agitating the Peoria defense. He poked at pucks after the goalie covered and eventually drew a penalty. Larsson was run down making a save, but no penalty because it was ruled Kindl rode him into the netminder. Janik cruised in deep and wristed a shot past Bishop midway, stick side to cu the lead to one. Pare followed up his rebound and touched off a big scrum in the corner. Larsson to the bench for the extra skater. A couple of great chances for GR at the end, but it was too little too late as the clock ran out on another Griffins loss. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - PEO 2. For the Game: GR 29 - PEO 28.

Tatar - Rissmiller - Mursak
Ritola - Nylander - Pare
Vigilante - Emmerton - Williams
Lemieux - McGrath - Tardif/Mursak/Pare

Kolosov - Pyett
Kindl - Janik
Delmore - Ehrhardt

Starter: Larsson
Backup: Pearce

Newbury - Injury
Crosty - Scratch

Tatar - Rissmiller - Mursak
Williams - Janik

Ritola - Nylander - Pare
Kindl - Pyett

Ritola - Nylander
Kolosov - Pyett

Emmerton - Williams/Vigilante
Janik - Kindl

Three Stars:
3 Lampman - Peo
2 Janik - GR
1 Pelletier - Peo


It was nice to have a full lineup for a change, I don't remember the last time all our defensemen were playing at the same time. Peoria played a good game defensively, and took advantage of GR penalties to notch three powerplay goals. Looking at the scoresheet it is tough for me to believe that Peoria only had 5 powerplays on the night. It seemed like we had quite a parade of players going to the box.

Danny Richmond was sure surprised when Mursak dropped the gloves and handed his butt to him. We were just hoping he wouldn't hurt his hand punching him.

Official Game Sheet