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Griffins Double Up On Houston 2-1
Howard stands tall in net...
By Jason Kasiorek

Brendan Brooks scored his team leading third goal of the season, and Ryan Oulahen scored the gamewinner as Jimmy Howard led the team to an impressive 2-1 win over the arch-rival Aeros.

Rookie forward Evan McGrath started the game apparantly trying to convince the coaching staff he didn't want to be scratched again. He had several dangerous scoring chances in the early minutes of the game. Miller missed a great chance on a shot by Ellis that went just wide. Brendan Brooks cranked it up into 4th gear and blazed in on harding for a great chance that was stopped. Several quaility scoring chances in a dominant first period for the Griffins. Shots on goal GR 20 - Houston 6.

An early penalty to the Griffins slowed down the pace a little at the start of the second. Grand Rapids started to regain momentum during a Houston penalty, when Danny Syvret set off a flurry of shots on the houston net with a rifle shot from the point that just missed. Brendan Brooks finally solved Harding just over 8 minutes into the second when he fired a bullet from the top of the circle that beat the Aeros netminder High, glove-side. Less than two minutes later Ryan Oulahen picked up a loose puck between the circles and let a riser go that went in just under the bar to give the Griffins a 2-0 lead. Little Ryan Keller laid out a huge hit along the boards and took the puck away for a great scoring chance. Langfeld and Ellis were dangerous all night, feeding each other in front several times for great chances. Himelfarb dug the puck out and fed it to brooks whose blast beat Harding, but did not carry into the net before the whistle. Great defensive play by Meech to break up a two-on-one as the period wound down. Shots on goal GR 12 - Houston 4.

Houston showed a little more life in the 3rd, but it was too little too late. The Aeros scored their lone goal with rookie Defenseman Tom Galvin in the box for tripping. Leavitt made a good pass across the front of the net to an open Pouliot who had an easy slam into a wide open side of the net. McGrath had a chance to restore the two goal lead late in the third, but was unable to convert a breakaway. GR held on and shut the Aeros down at the end of the game. Houston tried to pull Harding several times in the last minute and a half, but the Griffins kept him pinned in until the clock ran out. Shots on goal GR 7 - Houston 15. For the game GR 39 - Houston 25.

Miller - Ellis - Langfeld
Hussey - McGrath - Bootland
Oulahen - Himelfarb/McGrath - Brooks
Goulet - Miller/Langfeld/McGrath - Keller

Smith - Meech
Quincey - Ericsson
Syvret - Galvin

Starter: Howard
Backup: Liv


Miller - Ellis - Langfeld
Quincey - Ericsson/Syvret

Goulet - Himelfarb - Bootland
Smith - Meech

Ellis - Langfeld
Smith - Meech

Himelfarb - Bootland
Quincey - Ericsson

Oulahen - Hussey

Three Stars:
3 GR Oulahen
2 Hou Harding
1 GR Howard


Evan McGrath was very noticable and played at a high level. He had some dangerous chances, and showed off his speed and tremendous instincts. He was only officially credited with 2 shots on goal, but he set up another half dozen with his quick hands and passes.

Jimmy Howard wasn't tested much in the first two periods, but really stood on his head in the third, stopping several point blank shots and quality scoring chances. Howard looked very confident and was in position, not scrambling.

Josh Langfeld and Matt Ellis may have been the 2 most dangerous players on the ice against the Aeros. Their hard work and hustle led to several incredible scoring chances, and broke up several rushed for the Aeros.

Kyle Quincey played a steady, solid, physical game, and was very aggressive.

Himelfarb must have gotten under the aeros players skin early in the game because they were chasing him around most of the first period, trying to get to him. He played another good game, and his speed and playmaking really goes well with Brooks and Oulahen.

Ryan Keller did not see much ice time, but he was impressive in the little he saw. The former junior league scorer has apparently remade his game as a feisty energy player and aggressive forechecker.

Ericsson played a fairly good game using his long reach and size to move the puck out of trouble. he had a few turnovers, but for the most part recovered quickly and was able to break up the resulting scoring play.

Rookie Tom Galvin had 2 assists on the night and didn't look out of place on the GR blueline in a rare start.

Click here for the Official Scoresheet.