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Minard's Hat Trick Trumps Rampage in 7-4 Win
Griffins survive Wild West shootout with 7-goal outburst...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 12th, 2012

Grand Rapids is one of the highest scoring teams in the AHL, and they proved it tonight scoring 7 goals on the way to a wild 7-4 win over the visiting San Antonio Rampage. The Griffins scored 3 goals in the first three minutes and despite several rallies by the Rampage, they never looked back. Chris Minard (7,8,9) had a hat trick in the winning effort, while Parkes (7), Tatar (13), Nyquist (15) and Callahan (5) also added goals. Jordan Pearce had a rough night, but made enough saves (23) to get the win, his third of the season.

Thirty-five seconds in Smith sent a pinballing shot from the point that Johnson got a stick on before Minard redirected it off the post past Grumet-Morris. Less than two minutes later, Aubry won a battle in the corner. And hit Parkes in front who converted it for a 2-0 lead. That was it for Grumet-Morris who went to the bench for Foster. Foster only lasted a few seconds, promptly giving up a goal to Tatar. Grumet-Morris was summoned from the bench and went back between the pipes. Coetzee got thumped along the boards and took offense with Selleck, setting off a scrum. Brunnstrom stole the puck at the line and was off to the races on a breakaway. He had two shots before running out of room. A few seconds later Tatar was sprung on a breakaway and Grumet-Morris just poked the puck away as he was shooting it. Pearce got caught wandering out of the net and gave up a goal on the first shot he saw. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - San 7.

Minard ended up in the net and got roughed up by the Rampage netminder while play moved up ice. Coetzee stripped the puck away and shot down the boards with Nyquist on a break. He dished to Nyquist who roofed it for 4-1 lead. Caruso answered right back for San Antonio, sneaking a low shot from the point through Pearce five-hole. Parkes set up Callahan on the circle off a face-off, and the rookie winger wristed it over Grumet-Morris for his fifth of the year. Sloppy play at the end of a Griffins powerplay led to pressure in the Grand Rapids zone. Repik was the beneficiary of a beautiful back door pass from Cullen that he one-timed behind Pearce. Tatar had another breakaway and couldn't get the puck over Grumet-Morris' pads. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - San 7.

Grand Rapids traded goals with the Rampage midway through the third period with Kearns momentarily cutting the Griffins lead to one before Minard ripped a Johnson feed shortside between Grumet-Morris' pads and the post. San Antonio pulled their goalie with about two minutes left to try and get back into the game. Tatar and Minard worked a great give and go before an unselfish Tatar fed Minard for an empty net hat trick goal. Shots on goal: GR 9 - San 13. For the Game: GR 32 - Hou 27.

Minard - Johnson - Tatar
Nyquist - Raedeke - Coetzee
Parkes - Aubry - Callahan
Conner - Andersson - Brunnstrom

Janik - Smith
Exelby - Piche
Lashoff - Ehrhardt

Starter: Pearce
Backup: McCollum


Tatar - Johnson - Minard/Callahan
Smith - Nyquist/Lashoff

Conner - Andersson - Brunnstrom
Janik - Nyquist

Andersson - Brunnstrom
Exelby - Lashoff

Tatar - Nyquist
Ehrhardt - Smith

Raedeke - Callahan


Can't say enough about the play of Aubry - Parkes - Callahan. This line was one of the best tonight for either team.

Tatar looked very intense tonight and was really playing with a lot of fire and passion. Whether it was the change of linemates or something else, he really looked good.

No surprise Pyett was a scratch after last nights game, was a little surprised that Ferraro sat out.

Good to see Minard carrying such a hot hand. He and Johnson have both undergone a tremendous change since last season.

Official Game Sheet