Rochester Rallies To Top Griffins in Shootout 3-2|
Kolosov notches first career goal in losing effort...
By Jason Kasiorek
Grand Rapids blew a 2-0 lead in the second to force overtime and a shootout which they lost to the last place Rochester Americans. This was the the team's fifth straight overtime game and third shootout in a row. The Griffins, who were playing without Ville Leino and Justin Abdelkader, couldn't muster much offense in the latter stages of the game against red hot Amerk's goalie Mike Brodeur. They did manage to get goals from Sergei Kolosov (the first of his career, and Ryan Oulahen. Jimmy Howard was sharp in the loss, stopping 33 of 34 shots and 4 of 5 in the shootout.
The Griffins looked rusty in the first as they attempted to regain their pre-All-Star break form. They still managed to ring up 19 shots on the Rochester net, badly outplaying and out-chancing the Americans. Shots on Goal: GR 19 - Roc 9.
Sergei Kolosov opened the scoring with a big point blast that beat Brodeur high stick-side for his first career goal. A minute and a half later, Haydar hit a flying Oulahen in the slot and he bulged the twine behind Brodeur with a wicked shot for a rare powerplay marker. Rochester cut the lead to one just over the halfway point of the period, Duco took a pass at the bottom of the circle and stroked a shot over Howard. Grand Rapids ended up down two men, but the penalty killers got the job done. Howard had to be real strong in the latter stages of the period as the defensive breakdowns in front of him left him to the wolves. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Roc 13.
GR looked sloppy in the third as the tide shifted to Rochester. Galvin turned the puck over at the line and Kindl had to take a penalty to negate a good scoring chance for the Amerks. Rochester tied the game with just over 8 minutes left in the game on a goal by Brine right in front. Grand Rapids had a 5 on 3 powerplay a few minutes later but couldn't score despite a couple of good chances, sending the game to overtime. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - Roc 11.
It was all Grand Rapids in the extra session as the team started to come alive and had several good chances while the Amerks stood around. Brodeur was the difference and the game went to the shootout. Shots on Goal: GR 3 - Roc 0.
Carlson for Rochester to start, ripped a shot past Howard stick side for a 1-0 lead. Ritola had the puck roll off his stick in his chance, followed by Repik who was stopped by a Howard stick save. Emmerton shot the puck over the net for GR then Brine rang a shot off the post. Evan McGrath made a great move and watched the puck beat Brodeur and roll through the crease before harmlessly rolling into the corner. Stewart appeared to score for Rochester but Howard immediately protested and the goal was waived off. This set off Americans coach Benoit Groulx who attempted to leave the bench to get the referee, eventually settling for slamming his leg in the bench door and drawing an ejection. Several of the players and the assistant coach had to restrain Groulx who was trying to climb over the bench to get to the official. Eventually things settled down and the shootout resumed. Haydar went next for the Griffins but shot the puck into Brodeur's mid-section. Larman was the final shooter for the Amerks and he missed the net, setting the stage for Oulahen who unfortunately shot the puck into Brodeur ending the game. Shots on Goal: GR 0 - QC 1. For the Game: GR 37 - Roc 35.
Oulahen - Helm - Haydar
Lemieux - Pare - McGrath
Ritola - Tardif - Mursak
Emmerton - Gagnon - Downey
Stafford - Ericsson
Kolosov - Pyett
Galvin - Kindl
Leino - Oulahen - Tardif
Galvin - Kindl
Ritola - Abdelkader - Mursak
Haydar - Stafford
Oulahen - Gagnon
Galvin - Kindl
Ritola - Abdelkader
Kolosov - Stafford
Lemieux - McGrath
Jan Mursak looked good in the first before disappearing the rest of the game. He created a couple of scoring chances and for the first time looked like he belonged.
Nice to see Helm and Ericsson back in the lineup. Helm looked a step slow (compared to his normal top end speed), but worked very hard and was banging bodies all over the ice.
Oulahen should have been one of the three stars in my opinion. He played perhaps his best game as a Griffin and saw a ton of ice time in all situations. He was an ace as usual on the PK, but was very involved offensively and even scored a powerplay goal. He was very noticeable all game and was firing on all cylinders.
Nice goal by Kolosov who seemed to draw confidence from the score. He looked very strong as the game went on, challenging opposing skaters and really showing energy and intensity.
Jimmy Howard was sharp when he needed to be. It looks like his game got a tune-up over the break. His mechanics looked better and he seemed more aggressive and composed. He was outside the paint challenging shooters and in better position with less scrambling around. The other telling factor was how he stayed against the post, stopping a few pucks, where in the last few weeks he had been victimized a couple of times after pulling off a little.