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Grand Rapids Outlasts Lake Erie in 2-1 Victory
Jurco's awakening highlights Griffins win...
By Jason Kasiorek
March 9th, 2013

Rookie winger Tomas Jurco showcased his jaw-dropping puck control and creativity on a night that his team held on to record a 2-1 win in the cozy confines of Van Andel Arena. He recorded a team high five shots on goal and had several incredible scoring chances, embarrassing the Monsters defenders on a regular basis. Captain Jeff Hoggan notched a goal and almost had a second on a failed penalty shot attempt. Louis-Marc Aubry had the game winner midway through the second, and Petr Mrazek made 27 saves for his 20th win of the season.

Jurco making magic in the Lake Erie zone weaving in and out of players. He had a sick toe drag to step into the slot around a defender for a dangerous chance. Every time he was on the ice for the first 10-15 minutes he looked like a globetrotter with the ridiculous things he was doing with the puck. Grant was pushing and shoving after the whistle with Maggio, but were separated before anything happened. The Griffins defense was doing a great job of blocking shots on the Penalty Kill on the way to killing off three straight penalties. Late in the period with Grand Rapids pressuring the Lake Erie net, Billins got a point shot off that trickled through Pickard and just drifted outside the post. In the dying seconds, Mrazek got bowled over into the net, a common theme on the night. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - LE 8.

Grand Rapids finally got on the board midway through the game. Several Griffins were poking at the puck around Pickard and Hoggan put Callahan's rebound in for his 12th of the season. Pickard came out of the net to clear the puck and put it right on Aubry's stick for an easy shot into the empty net to extend the lead to two. Jurco executed a spin-o-rama and hit Pare in the slot for a point blank chance , but Pare missed. Late in the period Hoggan was pulled down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. The Griffins captain wasn't able to capitalize, firing the puck into Pickard's pads. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - LE 12.

Early in the third, Lake Erie finally got one past Mrazek. Pock fired a shot from the line that found its way through traffic and in under a screened Mrazek. Pare just got his head up in time to avoid a huge open ice hit, and got his hip out to send his would be hitter flying instead. Pickard went to the bench with just over a minute left for an extra skater. The monsters put a lot of pressure on the GR net, but the Griffins did a great job of getting their bodies in front of the shots and eventually cleared the puck and watched the clock run down on a 2-1 win. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - LE 8. For the Game: GR 27 - LE 28.

Mursak - Ferraro - Jurco
Pare - Sheahan - Nyquist
Hoggan - Glendening - Callahan
Grant - Aubry - Nestrasil

Paetsch - Skinner
Evans - Billins
Almquist/Billins - Nicastro

Starter: Mrazek
Backup: McCollum


Pare - Sheahan - Nyquist
Skinner - Billins

Hoggan - Ferraro - Jurco
Patesch - Almquist

Sheahan - Ferraro
Evans - Billins

Hoggan - Glendening
Skinner - Paetsch

Mursak - Ferraro


Nice win by the Griffins in a game that really never felt as close as the final score was.

Can't say enough about Tomas Jurco this game. He looked like a man among boys for several stretches as he has found the confidence to dangle the puck. While he had no points to show for it, he controlled the puck for long periods of time and had some incredible scoring chances.

Almquist played tonight, but sat on the bench for long stretches, not seeing a regular shift in the rotation. He saw time on the powerplay on the second unit. Not sure if he is 100% yet.

Official Game Sheet