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Flames Torch Griffins 3-2
Late Goal Downs Home Team...
By Jason Kasiorek

The home portion of the Griffins schedule appears to be getting off to bad start, with the team dropping it's second straight contest. Despite playing well in spurts, Grand Rapids still was guilty of not turning in 60 minutes of solid effort and passionate play, and it cost them again, giving up the game winner late in the third. Goaltender Adam Berkhoel gave up three goals on fifteen shots in the loss.

The Griffins fell behind early for the second straight night when Ramholt let a shot go from the top of the circle that hit Berkhoel's shoulder and went in at the 1:46 mark. The teams traded scoreless powerplays before Garrett Stafford evened the score at one apiece with his first goal of the season. The veteran blueliner rifled a shot from between the circles that found the top shelf and blew the water bottle off the top of the net. Grand Rapids seemed to gain some life from the goal and their play picked up for the rest of the period. Shots on goal GR 10 - QC 3.

The second period saw neither team able to generate much offense. Frequent penalties led to some really choppy play and a pretty boring period. Mark Cullen notched a rare powerplay goal for the Griffins just over 12 minutes into the second, taking a quick pass in the circle and one-timing it into the top corner of the net. Grigorenko had a great scoring chance towards the end of the period on a 2 on 1 with McGrath, but the defenseman just got a stick on it. Quad City tied things up with 24 seconds left in the 2nd on a delayed penalty. Stevenson was able to jam the puck home during a goalmouth scramble. Shots on goal GR 7 - QC 5.

Stothers shortened his bench in the third looking for the go-ahead goal. The Cullen-Corazzini line was double shifted, and several new combinations with Hartigan were put out. In the end, a turnover caused by Ference not keeping the puck in at the line led to a flames breakaway. Stevenson froze Berkhoel and blew it pst him for a 3-2 lead. The Griffins pulled the goalie in the waning seconds but were unable to get anything going. Shots on goal GR 6 - QC 10. For the game GR 23 - Quad City 15.

Engelhardt - Corazzini - Cullen
Grigorenko/Tardif - Hartigan - Gelech
Helm - Oulahen - Keefe
Tardif - McGrath - Ritola

Kindl - Ference
Ericsson - Galvin/Stafford
Defense all jumbled due to only five dressed

Starter: Berkhoel
Backup: Howard

Insana - Injured

Grigorenko - Hartigan - Gelech
Kindl - Ference

Engelhardt - Corazzini - Cullen
Ericsson - Stafford

Tardif - Oulahen/McGrath
Ference - Kindl

Corazzini- Cullen
Ericsson - Stafford


Grigorenko looked better for the second straight game. He had some good scoring chances, and looked like he was doing a better job of supporting the play without the puck.

Jamie Tardif had another strong game, keying the penalty killing unit, and was one of the few forwards to play physically. He was rewarded with some shifts with Hartigan late in the game.

Mattias Ritola was more involved tonight and noticeable. He did a good job of stick-handling into the zone, and looks to be gaining confidence.

Garrett Stafford had a lot of jump, carrying the puck up ice and unleashing his cannon of a point shot. A lot of his shots were blocked before getting to the net, but one found it's way through for the first goal.

Veteran Brad Ference has not looked very comfortable or steady so far in the weekends game. I am expecting more from the "steady, physical defensive-defensman".

Official Game Sheet