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Rybar the Difference in 4-1 Rout of Penguins
Rookie netminder stops 33 of 34 shots...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 9th, 2019

The home team leaned on rookie netminder Patrik Rybar, who had languished on the bench for four straight games, but were rewarded with a 33 save performance good enough for 1st star of the game. Rybar was the difference maker, making several highlight reel stops to keep his team in the game long enough to score some goals. Filip Zadina (12), Colin Campbell (4), Libor Sulak (2) and Matt Puempel all scored in the win, going 2 for 5 on the powerplay. Filip Hronek and Carter Camper each added two assists to the attack.

Libor Sulak showing early on that he is in for a big game, took the puck and went end to end, blowing through the Wilkes-Barre defense and taking the puck to the net for a great scoring chance. Chris terry stole the puck and went in on a breakaway, but was fouled from behind and drew a penalty shot. The veteran sniper streaked in on Peters and fired it just wide. The Griffins got their first powerplay of the game midway through the period, and didn't waste much time converting. Filip Hronek with a nice move at the line to open a lane, hit camper, who found Zadina alone in the circle. Zadina had plenty of time to pick his spot and ripped a wrister past Peters high glove side for a 1-0 lead. Late in the period, Camper was caught tripping and the Penguins upped the pressure during the delayed call. Defensive Ace Brian lashoff was hurt on the ensuing PK and went right to the dressing room. Big scrum after the whistle, McIlrath giving Dea a major league facewash and nearly more but the officials broke things up before they got ugly. Ford and Blandisi also almost came to blows before cooler heads prevailed. Griffins caught a break late in the period as a long shot got by Rybar and hit the crossbar. Shots on goal: GR 13 - WB 12.

Hronek with a wicked shot from the circle that just went over the net. Glove save by Patrik Rybar on a point blank opportunity. Wilkes-Barre knotted the score at one apiece just past the halfway mark when Miletic fired a shot that pinballed past Rybar. The Griffins got another powerplay to try and regain the lead, but Turgeon took a penalty to negate the second half of the man-advantage. Hitting really picking up in the latter stages of the period as the intensity level ramps up. The penguins pull their goalie for an extra skater for a late faceoff deep in the Griffins zone. Shots on goal: GR 9 - WB 9.

Grand Rapids regained the lead early in the third, Puempel's shot hit Peters, and Campbell in front bagged the rebound home into a wide open side of the net. Rybar with another highlight reel save to take away what looked like a sure goal, snaring it with a quick glove. Sulak on the rush, carried the puck in and fed Turgeon for a shot. Sulak continued to the net and arrived in time to bat Turgeon's rebound into the net for his second of the season. Grand Rapids on the powerplay, and then Wilkes-barre with another penalty, setting up a 5-on-3. Hronek at the line, went across to Puempel for a point blast that beat Peters with Ford screening in front. Griffins up 4-1 but Wilkes-Barre trying to get back into it. Axel Holmstrom was the beneficiary of a good bounce right in front of the net, but broke his stick on the shot. Zadina took a bad hit along the boards and was down in pain. Hronek went right over and dropped his gloves and wrestled the offender to the ice. Hicketts held the puck behind the net as the clock ticked down on a 4-1 Griffins victory. Shots on goal: GR 10 - WB 13. For the game: GR 32 - WB 34.

#73 Puempel - #23 Turgeon - #45 Campbell
#15 Elson - #19 Camper - #25 Terry
#55 Ford - #10 Holmstrom - #11 Zadina
#54 Smith - #39 Hulak - #65 Shine

#2 Hicketts - #13 Hronek
#4 Sulak - #52 McIlrath
#18 Lashoff - #9 Saarijarvi

Starter: #42 Rybar
Backup: #29 Sateri

#12 Pope
#22 Megan
#27 Chelios


#11 Zadina - #23 Turgeon - #55 Ford
#13 Hronek - #19 Camper

#15 Elson - #10 Holmstrom - #25 Terry
#73 Puempel - #2 Hicketts

#23 Turgeon - #45 Campbell/Shine
#18 Lashoff - #52 McIlrath

#55 Ford - #65 Shine
#2 Hicketts - #13 Hronek

#54 Smith - #39 Hulak


The Griffins defense was involved in the offense all night accounting for 12 of 32 shots and Sulak's goal. Sulak and Hronek specifically were creating chances and carrying the puck in instead of dumping it. Hicketts ended up with five shots mostly on the powerplay.

Puempel, mired in a scoring slump was reunited with Turgeon and Campbell, and responded with a goal and an assist.

Official Game Sheet