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Griffins Rally to Stun Moose in Overtime 4-3
Voce the Hero with two goals and an assist...
By Jason Kasiorek

Things looked bleak for Grand Rapids when Darryl Bootland suffered a meltdown and drew a five minute slashing major in the third with a 2 - 2 score. It got worse when Himelfarb went off leaving the Griffins down by two and Manitoba scored the go ahead goal. The Griffins weren't fazed however and fought their way back to send the game into overtime, setting the stage for Tony Voce to score his second of the night and win the game.

Manitoba scored first with Genoway beating Howard six minutes into the game for his first of the playoffs. Tony Voce evened things up about six minutes later on a great play by rookie Jan Mursak. Mursak shot down the wing, beat the defenseman and sent a perfect pass across the edge of the crease to Voce for a back door goal on MacIntyre. Later on in the period the Griffins net came off the moorings, but Goren still shot the puck in after the whistle, which of course drew Norton over for a talk. Shortly thereafter Howard and Jaffrey engage in a little duel in front of the net until Howard knocked him down with both players drawing penalties. The first was a pretty even period with neither team looking particularly great. Shots on goal GR 9 - Man. 8.

Manitoba opened the second with a power play goal just over a minute in. They had a couple of whacks at the loose puck in front before Moran popped it in over a sprawled out Howard. Grand Rapids had a golden oppoertunity to tie things up when Himelfarb beat his check znd center the puck to Bootland who had a quick poke at it. This of course cused a big scrum with Simon and Brown grappling and Bootland trying to get at Prestin Ryan. Jon Insana took advantage of a Matt Hussey screen by blowing a shot from the circle past MacIntyre high glove side that popped the water bottle. Late in the period, Howard made the save of the game, stopping a Manitoba breakaway. Former Griffin Brendan Brooks knocked Howard down and another scrum broke out, Smith grabbed a hold of him and Booter gave him a face wash before he headed to the box. The Griffins turned it up a notch in the second, really carrying the play for large periods of time. Shots on goal GR 14 - Manitoba 7.

The Griffins were dominating the play in third, pressing for the go ahead goal, when things started to go south. Bootland took exception to Jason Jaffrey and smoked him with a vicious two handed slash to the ankle that left the Moose forward on the ice writhing in pain. This did not go unoticed and earned Bootland a major and a game misconduct, leaving his team down a man for a full five minutes. A penalty to Himelfarb turned it into a 5-on-3 and Jaffrey scored to give Manitoba the lead. Grand Rapids was relentless the rest of the period, throwing everything they had a t the Moose. with time running out in the game, Howard went to the bench for the extra attacker. With 49 seconds left on the clock Himelfarb picked up a loose puck in a scramble out front and wristed it over Macintyre to tie the game and send it to overtime. Shots on goal GR 21 - Man 7.

Mursak made another great play early in the overtime and found himself alone in front of the net where he rifled a shot at MacIntyre. Drew made the stop and Voce pounced on the rebound from the side of the net for his second of the game and the overtime game winner. Shots on goal GR 3 - Man 1. For the game GR 47 - Man 23.

Miller - Ellis - Parse
Voce - Oulahen - Mursak
Simon - Himelfarb - Bootland/Hussey
Hussey - McGrath - Campbell

Smith - Meech
Norton/Ericsson - Insana
Norton - Kindl

Starter: Howard
Backup: Liv

Keefe - Injured

Ellis - Himelfarb - Parse
Kindl - Meech

Voce - Miller/McGrath - Mursak/Hussey
Ericsson - Insana

Ellis - Oulahen
Smith - Meech

Hussey/Simon - Himelfarb
Norton - Insana

Campbell - Bootland

There were a lot of heroes in this game, the boys really played well.

Jan Mursak seems to get better every game, and was dangerous almost everytime he was out. He has some incredible moves and is fast!

Tony Voce had a huge night, notching two goals and an assist. He was working hard and his line with Oulahen and Mursak was the teams best.

Himelfarb has really been working hard during the postseason, and it was fitting that he scored the game tying goal. his play while shorthanded held Manitoba to 1 goal on 7 chances.

Bootland is one of my favorite players on and off the ice, but his selfish penalty almost cost his team the game...and the series. Will the real Darryl Bootland please make an appearance.

Brad Norton had another strong game, and seems to be getting better as the postseason progresses. After watching him helped off the ice Wednesday, it was nice to see him back and not showing any signs of an injury.

Official Game Sheet