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Grand Rapids Late Rally Snuffs Flames 2-1 in Shootout
Leino scores one in regulation and one in shootout for the win...
By Jason Kasiorek

Grand Rapids won a Friday night snoozefest with a rare dominant shootout performance. Netminder Daniel Larsson stopped all three shooters he faced, and the Griffins got nice goals from Ville Leino, Mattias Ritola and Evan McGrath to seal the victory. Quad City led 1-0 for most of the game before Leino tied things up in the third to force the extra sessions. Larsson made 34 saves for the win, notching his 15th of the campaign.

Gritty winger Aaron Downey got smoked with a clean hit that looked worse than it was. He bounced back up but that hit set the tone for the rest of the game. The Griffins were not able to capitalize on their first powerplay, but Quad City took advantage of theirs to open the scoring. Jakub Kindl coughed up the puck in front of the net and Greentree capitalized, putting it behind Larsson just past the 10 minute mark. The flames carried the play most of the period, helped in part by three straight Griffins' penalties. Shots on Goal: GR 6 - QC 12.

Grand Rapids had a couple of good chances early on by Leino and Oulahen but couldn't get anything by Keetley. The Griffins' powerless play wasn't clicking again, and Quad City got a couple of dangerous chances shorthanded. GR does not look sharp, passes not connecting, and a lack of fire. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - QC 13.

Ville Leino tied the game up early in the third with Wilson in the box for holding. Darren Haydar made a nice pass to Leino at the bottom of the circle and the talented Finn let a bad angle shot go that got between Keetley and the post. The Griffins started picking up their play in the latter stages of the period, but could not get the go-ahead goal. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - QC 7.

Great work by Pyett and Kindl early in the overtime almost put the game away. Kindl set up a couple of great chances and had a dangerous shot himself, while Kindl fought off several checkers to keep possession of the puck in the corner and behind the net to set up a good scoring play. Shots on Goal: GR 3 - QC 3.

The Shootout:
Cracknell went first for QC, Larsson came out to cut down the angle and made a pad save on the shot. Leino for the Griffins streaked in on net deked Keetley and slid the puck into the net. Former Wings' camp tryout Carsen Germyn was the second Flames shooter and he shot it into to Larsson for an easy save. Ritola went in on Keetley made a head and shoulders fake, froze him, and snapped a shot five hole for a 2-0 lead. Third for QC was Greentree who missed the net with his shot, setting up McGrath for the winner. Evan shot in and ripped a quick shot under Keetley's arm for the win. Shots on Goal: GR 1 - QC 0. For the Game: GR 27 - QC 35.

Leino - Oulahen - Tardif
Haydar - Pare - McGrath
Ritola - Abdelkader - Mursak
Lemieux - Gagnon - Downey

Stafford - Jozsa
Kolosov - Pyett
Galvin - Kindl

Starter: Larsson
Backup: Howard

Helm - Charley Horse
Ericsson - Knee, Wrist, Shoulder

Leino - Oulahen - Tardif
Galvin - Kindl

Ritola - Abdelkader - Mursak
Haydar - Stafford

Oulahen - Gagnon
Galvin - Kindl

Ritola - Abdelkader
Kolosov - Stafford

Lemieux - McGrath


Not much to write about this game as it was pretty boring and uninspired. This does not lend itself to a lot of game notes to write an article from.

Quad City really came out and played their game so you have to give them credit, but the Griffins looked stuck in neutral until the last half of third period. Obviously tonight that was enough, but they better not plan on winning that way very often in this league.

One of the few players who was ready from the opening faceoff was Ryan Oulahen who was very impressive all night. His hard work and energy level really stood out and should have been a wake-up call to his teammates.

One of the reasons the Flames controlled play so much of the night was their success in the faceoff circle. They won a majority of the faceoffs and were able to control the puck because of that.

Official Game Sheet