Griffins Claim Midwest Division Title with 3-1 Win over Rivermen
Jurco nets Game-winner with 12.9 seconds left...
By Jason Kasiorek
April 19th, 2013
The Griffins finally were able to put a win on the board against the Peoria Rivermen who have been a thorn in their side all season. Netminder Mike McKenna was the only reason this game was close as Grand Rapids controlled the puck the whole game and put up 43 shots on goal. Skinner (4) equalized an early Rivermen goal and the game stayed 1-1 until almost the end when Jurco (14) scored with 12.9 left and Mursak (4) added an empty netter. Petr Mrazek made 18 saves on 19 shots for the win, clinching the midwest division title.
Peoria opened the scoring early in the first when Hensick streaked by the net and lifted a shot between Mrazek and the post. Great passing play between Hoggan, Mursak and Glendening resulted in a point blank scoring attempt. Fournier had a nice rip from the slot that was knocked down by McKenna. Tatar and Ferraro had a dangerous rush towards the end of the period, but they couldn't convert. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Peo 4.
Grand Rapids was finally able to solve McKenna midway through the second when Skinner smoked a shot that bulged the twine for his fourth of the season. The Griffins have turned up the pressure and are really pressuring the Peoria net. Tatar rang a shot off the bar with a wide open net in front of him. Great work by Jurco, Ferraro and Callahan to cycle the puck and create scoring chances. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - Peo 9.
Peoria had a great chance to reagin the lead with a breakaway, but Paetsch just got back and poked the puck away. The Griffins had their chances on a 5-on-3 powerplay but could not get a shot past McKenna. Woywitka shot the puck over the glass and was assessed a delay of game penalty, setting up a late Griffins powerplay. Grand Rapids crashed the net and Jurco got a hold of the loose puck in a pile of bodies and fired it home for the lead with 12.9 seconds on the clock. Peoria pulled McKenna and Mursak sealed the win with an empty netter with two seconds left to take a 3-1 win. Shots on Goal: GR 17 - Peo 6. For the Game: GR 43 - Peo 19.
Hoggan - Glendening - Mursak/Callahan
Tatar - Sheahan - Jurco/Pare
Pare/Jurco - Ferraro - Callahan
Grant - Aubry - Nestrasil
Paetsch - Almquist
Evans - Paetsch/Billins
Skinner - Almquist/Fournier
Griffins played a five man rotation with Fournier only getting a few shifts a period.
Pare - Sheahan - Tatar/Ferraro
Skinner - Billins
Jurco - Ferraro - Hoggan
Paetsch - Almquist
Callahan - Sheahan
Evans - Billins
Ferraro - Sheahan
Almquist - Paetsch
Ferraro - Mursak
A very entertaining game and a great win for Grand Rapids. The team really carried play for most of the game, not allowing Peoria to get much going with the puck, and at times it looked like they had a powerplay when they didn't as they cycled the puck and peppered McKenna.