Griffins Ground Aeros 7-0 - Advance to Second Round|
Tatar leads the way with 2 goals, an assist and a fight...
By Jason Kasiorek
May 4th, 2013
The Griffins put an exclamation point on the end of their first round series with the Houston Aeros with a convincing 7-0 win on home ice. Sniper Tomas Tatar led the way with a pair of goals and an assist, while they also got tallies from Pare (1), Sheahan (1), Mursak (1), Almquist (2) and Pulkkinen (2) in the rout. Rookie netminder Petr Mrazek earned his first postseason shutout and picked up his third win. The Griffins now move on to face the Toronto marlies in the Western Conference Semi-finals.
Great chance early by Hoggan, who beat Condon, but the puck trickled just wide. Mursak picked up a rebound, beat a defender and went end to end to generate a chance. Tatar had a great had a great scoring chance and Pare snuck into the slot for the third chance, wiring the puck in under Condon for a one goal lead. The Griffins had a huge penalty kill late in the period to preserve the lead. Shots on Goal: GR 15 Hou 7.
The Griffins were pressuring the Aeros net early. Tatar crossed the line and fired a wicked wrister that just clanked in under the bar. Sheahan fired a shot from the circle that hit Condon and went up and over and into the net. The goal light went on but the official waived it off and the play was reviewed. It was eventually ruled a goal and the Griffins took a 3-0 lead. Condon came out of the net and got caught in no mans land between two Griffins, and skated into the corner, taking a two minute penalty for being for being in a restricted area with the puck. Mursak took a shot on Condon from the circle that trickled through and just inside the post for the Griffins fourth goal. Dowell dropped the gloves and challenged Hoggan, but the Griffins captain just skated away. Incredibly both of them ended up in the box. Grand Rapids with the puck around the Aeros net, Tatar cut between two bodies and buried a shot beside Condon for his second of the game. Shots on Goal: GR 14 Hou 4.
Tatar and Kampfer squared off after the opening faceoff. Tatar landed a good shot and then took him down to the ice. Hoggan had a breakaway and was hauled down setting up a Griffins powerplay. Almquist showed great patience to find an open lane in front before popping a shot in over Condon for a powerplay goal. Jurco giving the Aeros fits. Ferraro put a shot on net and Pulkkinen buried the rebound for a 7-0 lead. With 16.5 seconds left on the clock, Mrazek made the save and all hell broke loose as a big scrum broke out along the boards with Callahan and Evans at the center of it. Time ran out for the Aeros as the they were eliminated from the playoffs by Grand Rapids 7-0. Shots on Goal: GR 12 Hou 13. For the Game: GR 41 Hou 24.
Tatar - Sheahan - Pare
Hoggan - Glendening - Mursak
Jurco - Ferraro - Callahan
Grant - Aubry - Pulkkinen
Pulkkinen - Aubry - Callahan
Callahan - Sheahan - Mursak
Paetsch - Almquist
Evans - Billins
Skinner - Fournier
Pare - Glendening - Tatar
Skinner - Billins
Jurco - Ferraro - Hoggan/Pulkkinen
Paetsch - Almquist
Mursak - Glendening
Evans - Billins
Ferraro - Sheahan
Almquist - Paetsch
The Tatar - Sheahan - Pare line came alive and had the big night they needed. All three scored, ending some epic slumps, and Tatar was much more affective making the simple play.
Mrazek stood tall in the net and while he was not challenged much, he made the saves he had too.
The Griffins dominated every aspect of this game and at times it felt like their force of will was unstoppable.
Jurco had another great night, despite not showing up on the scoresheet, he took the puck to the net at will and drove the Aeros to distraction using his size and skill to embarrass them all night.
Special mention for Pulkkinen who continues to carry a hot stick, playing on a variety of lines.