Rampage Roll Over Griffins in Shootout 2-1|
Pulkkinen scores lone goal in loss...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 14th, 2014
The Griffins offense picked a bad night to go silent as the bottom dwelling San Antonio Rampage were able to hang on long enough to win in the skills competition 2-1. Grand Rapids turned up the heat in the second period and had several chances on Houser as part of an 18 shot period, but few were of the dangerous variety. Teemu Pulkkinen scored the only goal for the home team, his 19th of the season to move into a tie for the team lead with Mitch Callahan. Thomas McCollum was stellar during regulation and overtime, stopping 33 of 34 chances, but faltered in the shootout, allowing 2 goals on 3 chances to absorb the loss.
Both teams got off to a slow start with very few scoring chances. The Griffins had the first powerplay, but couldn't get much going, ending with no shots. Parkes put a nice shot on net right off the face off that almost trickled through Houser, five-hole. The game started to get chippy as the pushing and shoving picked up after whistles. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - San 9.
Callahan had a nice chance in front and Houser got bumped setting off a big scrum in front that saw Callahan sent off alone. The Griffins penalty killers were up to the task and killed if the Rampage man-advantage. Parkes, having a strong game, was creating havoc setting up in front of the net. Pulkkinen took a great feed from Sproul, back door for an easy tap in and a 1-0 Griffins lead. That lead was shortlived however, as Butler's long shot hit Shore in front and bounced into the net. Grand Rapids really picked up the pace and started generating scoring chances. The home team had a great chance late, 3-on-1, with Ferraro taking the shot, and Sheahan just couldn't convert the rebound in the slot. Shots on Goal: GR 18 - San 7.
Emmerton took a lead pass as he split the defense and was taken down with no call. Aubry caught Lee as he came around the net and smoked him with a huge hit. Parkes stole the puck and had a dangerous chance in front, and Frk just missed burying the rebound. The Griffins looked to be holding on until the end if regulation as the Rampage surged. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - San 13.
Thomas McCollum came up huge in the overtime, stopping some point blank scoring chances that looked to be sure goals. Shots on Goal: GR 3 - San 5. For the Game: GR 38 - San 35.
Almquist was the first shooter for Grand Rapids, shooting straight in on goal and firing a shot off Houser's pad. Butler curled in from the circle and ripped a shot past McCollum to give San Antonio the lead. The second around saw Aubry try to dangle the puck, only to see it roll wide, while McCollum made a save on Shaw. Emmerton was next up for GR and he made a nice move but Houser stayed with him and took the shot away with his leg pad. Shore went side to side to get McCollum's feet moving before snapping a shit past him for a 2-0 lead. Jarnkrok was the last shooter and shit the puck right into Houser to end the shootout and a 2-1 Griffins loss. Shots on Goal: GR 18 - San 7.
Callahan - Jarnkork - Pulkkinen
Ferraro - Sheahan - Emmerton
Hoggan - McIntyre - Nestrasil/Aubry
Parkes - Aubry/Nestrasil - Frk
Evans - Sproul
Paetsch - Marchenko
Ouellet - Almquist
Jurco - Olympics (Announced as a scratch)
Grant - upper body injury
Tootoo - lower body injury
Callahan - Jarnkrok - Frk
Pulkkinen - Almquist
Emmerton - Sheahan - Ferraro
Sproul - Paetsch
Callahan - Jarnkrok
Evans - Ouellet/Almquist
Emmerton - Ferraro
Paetsch - Marchenko
Emmerton - Sheahan
Alexey Marchenko had a strong game, and just looked so calm and composed, breaking up rushes and separating the puck carrier from the puck in the defensive end.
Sheahan, back from Detroit, looked more confident offensively, he was more aggressive with the puck and seemed to be a bit more patient.
Frk did some great work in the corner, winning some battles and keeping control deep in the zone. He still has a long way to go, but at least he is making a positive contribution.
McCollum looked very sharp in this start, and was in great position to make some very big saves look easy. He was victimized a bit in the shootout, but the Griffins don't make it that far without his play in the latter stages of the game.
Parkes had a very effective and was very noticeable. He played his normal banging game, but was opportunistic around the net and really had the rampage focused on him. Would be nice to see him rewarded for his hard work ala Callahan, but the puck luck does not seem to be following the gritty winger.
Nestrasil started the game out on the wing, but was quickly moved back to center, replacing Aubry on the fourth line. His ability to win face-offs was a key factor in the move.
Callahan blocked a shot midway through the game that left him doubled over on the way back to the bench, holding his arm. He gritted it out and finished the rest of the game, but did not look as effective as he has most of the year. Hopefully it is nothing major.