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Captain Courageous Carries Griffins Over Bulldogs 5-3
Tardif nets game winner after return from brutal blindside elbow...
By Jason Kasiorek
February, 16th, 2011

Griffins captain Jamie Tardif extracted a measure of revenge against the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs after returning from a dirty hit to score the game winning goal Wednesday night. The clutch scoring forward had a pair of goals (18,19) on the night for Grand Rapids which won for just the second times in six games this month. Johnson (7), Tatar (13) and Emmerton (8) also tallied for the Griffins who got 22 saves from starter Jordan Pearce who impoved to 8-5-3 on the season.

A big hit by Keefe drew a little chatter and not much else. Great job by the 4th line early to cycle the puck and keep it deep in the bulldogs end for a whole shift. The Bulldogs had a dangerous chance shorthanded early and really started to carry the play at that point. Carle got the puck between the circles on a powerplay just shy of 13 minutes in and lifted a shot over Pearce to open the scoring. Conboy tried to check Janik, who anticipated and laid out the Hamilton forward. This started another meeting of the minds and ended up with a couple of penalties. Johnson great second effort around the net, picking up his own rebound and flip it over a down and out Sanford to knot the score at one. Hamilton got the goal back in short order however, when a complete defensive breakdown allowed Palushaj a golden opportunity on the rush that he capitalized on. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - Ham 11.

Keefe dropped the gloves at center ice with heavyweight Jimmy Bonneauand stood in with him for quite a while beofre the fight was broken up. Smith had a good rip from the point that beat Sanford and just hit the post and stayed out. Tardif evened things up on the powerplay, converting a pass from between the circles and snapping it behind Sanford. Grand Rapids controlled play most of the period and really had the Bulldogs back on their heels. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Ham 3.

Tardif had a great scoring chance on a shorthanded breakaway and then got smoked with a blindside elbow by Russell. Tardif lay on the ice for awhile before leaving the game. Russell was assessed a major penalty for a head shot and tossed from the game, setting up a Griffins 5-on-3 powerplay. Emmerton picked up the puck and cut across the ice right to left and wristed a shot against the grain for a 5-on-3 powerplay goal. Finally some life on the GR bench as everybody is standing up now. Tatar had a good shot close in and Tardif pounced on the rebound and chipped it in over a sprawled out Sanford. St. Denis scored to cut the lead to one goal for Grand Rapids and also set up Tardif's second score as the game winner. The Bulldogs were buzzing around the net late in the game, creating chances and the Griffins could not seem to get the puck out. Sanford to the bench with a minute left for the extra skater. Tatar took a feed from Mursak and goes end to end before sliding the puck into the empty net to ice the win 5-3. Shots on goal: GR 12 - Ham 11. For the Game: GR 37 - Ham 25.

Tatar - Filppula - Mursak
Tardif - Emmerton - Pare
Owens - Johnson - Minard
Raedeke - Andersson - Keefe

Pyett - Meech
Janik - Smith
Lashoff - Ehrhardt

Starter: Pearce
Backup: McCollum

Kolosov - Knee
Amadio - Ankle

Minard/Filppula - Emmerton - Tardif
Pare - Meech

Tatar - Johnson - Mursak
Smith - Emmerton/Janik

Owens - Johnson - Minard

Emmerton - Raedeke
Pyett - Meech

Tatar - Filppula
Janik - Smith

Tardif - Andersson


Great comeback for this win. I havent seen that much fight and compete from this team in a while. It blows that Tardif had to take an elbow to the head to get them fired up, but it was a nice win.

Great game by Tardif, he had a couple of great chances and could have easily had the hat trick except for a couple of bad bounces.

Nice to see Smith back in the lineup. He played a much more sedate game as he adjusts to being back on the ice, but had a couple of good chances and did not look out of place.

Jordan Owens was very noticeable early, playing strong and physical. He also used his speed well and created some chances. Hopefully this is a sign he is starting put all the pieces together this season.

Pearce had a good night, and couldn't be blamed for two of the three that found their way behind him. He stood up well in the last few minutes when Hamilton threw everything bhut the kitchen sink at the net to tie it up.

Official Game Sheet