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Pearce Out Duels Barons 2-1 In Shootout
Rookie netminder continues hot hand with dominant performance╔
By Jason Kasiorek
www.griffinscentral.com
March, 5th, 2011

Griffins rookie netminder Jordan Pearce continued his hot streak, making 31 saves and 4 more in the shootout to notch his 17 victory of the season, and help his team to its third straight win. After falling behind in the first on a goal set up by former Griffins Alexandre Giroux and Bryan Helmer, Pare rallied the Griffins with his 22nd of the season on a nice pass from Johnson. Pare and Johnson also both scored in the shootout bolstered by Pearce's four stops for the win. Grand Rapids threw 47 shots on the Barons net split between Gerber and Deslauriers.

Tardif was cut early and went to the room for repairs. Straub and Lord had a grappling match in front of the penalty boxes. Few punches were thrown before Straub took him to the ice. The Barons scored a pretty back-door goal on the powerplay by Moran for the lead. Shots on goal: GR 10 - OKC 5.

The Griffins faded in intensity the first half of the period as neither team was really doing much. Johnson took the puck towards the corner and then fired a centering pass right onto the tape of trailer Frankie Pare. Pare snapped a shot into the top of the net to knot the score at one. Stortini elbowed Raedeke viscously into the boards and then turtled when Keefe went after him. He yapped with Straub all the way to the box. Vandevelde took Pearce down as he cut through the crease, drawing a penalty and a chat with Keefe. Smith made a great move to keep the puck in on the PP but then got cute and coughed it up for a shorthanded two-on-one. The Griffins showed some pretty sloppy puck control late in the period with the man advantage, allowing the Barons more quality scoring chances then they had. Shots on goal: GR 15 - OKC 11.

Great scoring chance by Meech going end-to-end with the puck before giving late man Tardif a great scoring chance. Emmerton made a great pal to work through a group of Barons at the line with the puck and take it to the net. He was taken down by Petiot and piled into Gerber. Gerber was down and out for awhile before slowly leaving the ice in favor of Deslaurier. Great defensively play by Andersson to strip the puck at the line and hit Raedeke for a two-on-one that the speedy forward just missed scoring on. The Griffins are absolutely taking it to the Barons, completely dominating play. Oklahoma city went over seven minutes without a shot on goal. Shots on Goal: GR 19 - OKC 7.

Helmer still in the box for Oklahoma City to start the overtime, giving Grand Rapids a 4-on-3 powerplay. They had a couple of great chances, then Tardif got stung by a shot in front and hobbled to the bench. Pyett took an awful shot that hit a body and sprung Arcobello on a breakaway, but was denied by Pearce. Pare to the box with 2:22 left on the clock. Pearce was unbelievable while down a man in OT, making some impossible stops. Pare come out of the box and almost had a breakaway, but just couldn't catch the puck. Shots on Goal: GR 2 - OKC 9. For the Game: GR 47 - OKC 32.

The Shootout:
Vandevelde went first for the Barons, putting a shot in the top corner of the net to take a 1-0 lead. Minard was the next shooter and put a shot right into Deslauriers midsection. Arcobello started round two but lost the puck when Pearce poked it off his stick, and it trickled into Pearce's pads for a save. Johnson made a great move to freeze the Brons netminder and then lifted the puck over him into the net to make it 1-1. Giroux tried to go five hole and was denied in round three, followed by Pare ripping a shot into the top corner. Pearce came out and poke-checked the puck away from McDonald to start round four. Tardif was next and tried to make a move and slide it in from the side, but Deslaurier made a pad save. Kytnar had a chance to tie things up as the fifth shooter for Oklahoma City but Pearce stayed with him and took the shot away. Griffins win 2-1

Lines:
Tatar - Andersson - Tardif
Ehrhardt - Emmerton - Mursak
Minard - Johnson - Pare
Straub - Raedeke - Keefe

Pairings:
Janik - Smith
Pyett - Ehrhardt
Meech - Amadio

Starter: Pearce
Backup: #34 Riley

Scratches:
Kolosov Owens - broken arm Filppula

PP:
Minard - Emmerton - Mursak
Johnson - Smith

Tatar - Andersson - Tardif
Meech - Pare/Janik

Johnson - Emmerton - Tardif
Tatar - Pare

Minard - Johnson - Tatar
Smith - Pyett

PK:
Emmerton - Mursak
Meech - Pyett

Andersson - Tardif
Janik - Smith



Observations:

Wow, what a nailbiter! I can't believe that the Griffins didn't open up a big lead in the third with 19 shots on goal. Pearce was unbelievable in the net for the Griffins making several stops that I don't know how the puck stayed out of the net.

Pare continues to show some great chemistry with Johnson and the two of them are executing some great give and go passing plays. It is no coincidence that this line has broken out offensively as of late and only looks to get better.

Smith looks to be back in game shape, and his return to form is just what this team needs. He can do things with the puck that most defenseman can't, and makes it look easy. His seemingly effortless plays to get the puck in the zone, or find the seam to get a shot on net are things of beauty.

Andersson looked very good with an expanded role tonight. He really looked comfortable moving the puck, and was very involved in his own end starting the transition game.


Official Game Sheet