Griffins Double up on Rampage 4-2|
Special Teams Dominate Again...
By Jason Kasiorek
The Grand Rapids special teams came through big for the second game in a row, scoring two powerplay goals and another shorthanded to add to the three scored on Friday. Matt Ellis and Eric Himelfarb kept up their hot hands, both adding goals, while Derek meech added 2 assists. Scott Barney and Kip Miller had the other two Griffins goals. Stefan Liv was solid for most of the game making 22 saves, although he would probably like back the 40 footer he gave up early in the third.
The Griffins got on the board early in the first on a great effort by Himelfarb who carried the puck deep and put it on net. Scott Barney got a piece of it for his fourth of the year. Bootland pushing and shoving after the goal set off a big scrum. Late period shorthanded breakaway by San Antonio stonewalled by a confident Liv. Shots on goal GR 7 - San 4.
Kip Miller made it 2-0 on the powerplay when he walked in from the corner with the puck and rifled a shot high, glove side. That was the end of LeNeveu for the second night in a row as Tordjman came in. Late in the period Ellis won a big battle along the boards and took the puck through traffic to the net, beating Tordjman with a quick shot in close. Shots on goal GR 14 - San 10.
San Antonio finally got on the board just over a minute into the third when Gelech let a shot go from the blueline that cleany beat Liv five-hole for a brutal goal. The Griffins got the goal back 10 minutes later while shorthanded. Himelfarb and Hussey used their blazing speed to take a turnover end to end for a 2-on-1 break. Hussey passed to Himelfarb who one-timed it past Tordjman. Former Griffin Donald MacLean closed out the scoring late in the game when he redirected a shot from the corner on the doorstep past Liv low, stick-side. Tordjman to the bench with 2 minutes on the clock, but the Rampage could not get a clean shot on Liv. Shots: GR 8 - San 10, for the game GR 29 - San 24.
Bootland/Barney/Oulahen - Ellis - Campbell
Bootland/Oulahen - Himelfarb - Keller
Hussey - Miller - Brooks/Oulahen
McGrath only had a few shifts for the game, and not on a regular line.
Smith - Meech
Insana - Quincey
Syvret - Galvin
Norton - Injured
Ericsson - Injured
Miller - Ellis - Campbell
Hussey - Meech
Barney - Himelfarb - Bootland
Syvret - Quincey
Oulahen - Ellis
Smith - Meech
Hussey - Himelfarb
Syvret - Galvin/Quincey
Ellis - Campbell
3 GR Ellis
2 GR Meech
1 GR Himelfarb
Not a lot tonight, I brought my 7 week old daughter Mackenzie to the game, so it was tough to take a lot of notes.
Some of the usual suspects getting it done tonight, most notably Ellis, Meech, Himelfarb, Hussey, Syvret. The Griffins special teams scored 4 shorthanded goals and 3 powerplay goals in the last two games, as well as holding the rampage to 1 powerplay goal in 12 attempts. This has been an area the team has struggled in all season and will be a key to securing a playoff berth down the stretch.
Bootland was very ill-tempered tonight, taking a couple of bad penalties by being over-aggressive around the net.
Tom Galvin played a strong game, leading the rush, and breaking up plays in his own end, not bad for a guy that has spent time in the UHL this season. He has pleady steady but unspectacular since training camp opened, and it would be nice to see him paired with Jonathan Ericsson again when the towering swede returns from injury.
Official Game Sheet