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Grand Rapids Surprises Texas with 5-3 Come From Behind Win
Griffins explode for five goals...
By Jason Kasiorek

The downtrodden Griffins found some rare resiliency tonight in coming back twice to beat the Texas Stars. Grand Rapids, down 2-0 at the end of the first scored three unanswered goals in the second to take the lead. Then when Texas tied it up in the third they scored two more to preserve the win. The Griffins got goals from Tatar (12), Janik (6), Williams (19), Rissmiller (14) and Abdelkader (3). Special teams were a key in the win as GR scored 2 powerplay goals and killed off all four Star's powerplays. Daniel Larsson picked up his 17th win of the season, making 30 stops.

Grand Rapids carried play early but it was Texas that got on the scoreboard first. Former Griffin Aaron Gagnon took a Greg Rallo feed in front of the net and snapped a shot that beat Larsson five-hole for a 1-0 lead. Later in the period Graham made it 2-0 when he fired a seeing eye shot through traffic that found its way into the Griffins cage. Coach Fraser called a timeout to rally his troops, down 2-0 despite outplaying Texas for large stretches of the period. Gagnon almost made it 3-0 with a shorthanded breakaway, but Larsson stoned him. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Tex 9.

Rookie Tomas Tatar got things started for GR early in the second, scoring just 44 seconds in to cut the lead to one. The speedy sniper redirected a Kris Newbury centering pass for his first goal in 5 games, and he celebrated getting the monkey off his back with gusto. Midway through the period, Janik tied the game, cranking a shot from the point that beat Bachman five-hole. Late in the period Jeremy Williams capped the scoring when he one-timed a shot from the circle that dribbled in on Bachman for a powerplay goal. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - Tex 13.

Rallo scored a momentum shifter right at the start of the third period to knot the game at three, picking up a rebound in front and ripping it into the net. But the Griffins refused to roll over and die, finding some life for the first time in several games. Just past the six minute mark, Rissmiller scored a powerplay goal that dribbled along the ice and past Bachman to regain the lead. A few minutes later, Abdelkader came out of the penalty box and got a two-on-one with Pare. The former Spartan snapped a high shot in close to push the lead to two. That was the end for Bachman as he went to the net in favor of Ford. Texas coach Gulutzan called Ford to the bench with well over two minutes to go, trying to get back into the game. It worked to some extent as Gagnon picked up a rebound in traffic and scored to make it 5-4 with 26 seconds on the clock. The Griffins had several empty net chances to close it out, but couldn't connect. In the end they kept it out of their own net for the win in a nailbiting finish. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - Tex 12. For the Game: GR 39 - Tex 34.

Tatar - Newbury - Pare/Williams
Ritola - Abdelkader - Tardif
Vigilante - Rissmiller - Mursak
Emmerton - Abdelkader - Pare/Mursak

Pyett - Janik
Ehrhardt - Kindl
Crosty - Kindl/Janik

Starter: Larsson
Backup: McCollum

Andy Delmore - Healthy
Evan McGrath - Healthy

Tatar - Rissmiller - Mursak
Williams - Janik

Ritola - Abdelkader - Tardif
Kindl - Pyett

Emmerton - Rissmiller - Mursak

Ritola - Abdelkader/Newbury
Janik - Pyett

Vigilante - Rissmiller
Ehrhardt - Kindl

Three Stars:
3 Janik - GR
2 Pare - GR
1 Gagnon - Tex


Delmore and McGrath took the pre-game warmup and then were announced as scratches. Delmore was not happy as both players were Healthy scratches at the coaches decision. The Griffins played with only 16 skaters dressed, two under the limit of 18.

Official Game Sheet