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Griffins Poach Wolves 5-4
Emmerton Leads the way with first two goals of the season...
By Jason Kasiorek

The Grand Rapids Griffins moved their winning streak to 6 games, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to take a 5-4 win from the Chicago Wolves. Cory Emmerton was the surprise leader, scoring his first 2 goals of the season as part of a four goal rally in the middle of the game. Captain Jamie Tardif (5), Jeremy Williams (5), and Jan Mursak (4) also scored in the win. Daniel larsson won his fourth straight contest, besting former Red Wing Manny Legace, despite being outshot 32-23.

Off the opening faceoff, Chicago gained control in the Grand Rapids zone and Lehman's point shot was redirected from the bottom of the circle past Larsson, high stick side. Six and a half minutes later Kozel ripped a shot from the circle that Larsson should have stopped. It dribbled off his arm and into the net to gave Chicago a 2-0 lead. Grand Rapids answered less than a minute later on a nice play from McGrath to take the puck to the net, where Jamie tardif batted it out of midair, redirecting it past Legace. Axelsson boarded a Wolves player, setting off a little scrum, but Crosty and Tardif soon restored order. Late in the 1st Crosty and Stewart had a grappling match, but neither did much damage. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - Chi 13.

Emmerton tied the game early in the second when he carried the puck to the net and tried to get a shot off that was deflected past Legace by his own defenseman. A little while later Pare brought the puck in deep and centered from the corner. Emmerton showed up on the doorstep and converted it for the lead. Less than a minute later, Williams on the rush, Lasered a shot in off the crossbar to make it 4-2. That spelled the end for Legace who went to the bench in favor of Drew MacIntyre. Off the next faceoff, Tardif and Machacek dropped the gloves. Jamie pummelled him pretty good before taking him to the ice. Pare hit the crossbar on a dangerous chance late in the period. Pohl cut the lead to 1, using the GR defenseman as a screen and wristing a shot past Larsson. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Chi 10.

Mursak scored his 4th of the season late in the period to restore the two goal lead. The crafty forward used Lehman as a screen and smoked a shot into the cage behind MacIntyre. MacIntyre was called to the bench with a minute and a half left on the clock for the extra skater. Crabb took a feed in front of the net and chipped the puck over Larsson from his knees to cut the lead to one again. Things started getting rough in the last few seconds, but the Griffins held on for the win. Shots on goal: GR 6 - Chi 9. For the Game: GR 23 - Hou 32.

Ritola - Newbury - Mursak
Tatar - Rismiller - Williams
Axelsson - McGrath - Tardif
Vigilante - Emmerton - Pare

Kolosov - Kindl
Crosty - Pyett
Janik - Delmore

Starter: Larsson
Backup: McCollum


Ritola - Newbury - Mursak
Williams - Kindl

Axelsson - McGrath - Tardif
Janik - Delmore

Ritola - Newbury
Janik - Delmore

Rissmiller - Williams
Kolosov - Kindl

Emmerton - Vigilante


Pyett had a pretty good night, continuing some mildly improved play the last few games. He was much more involved offensively, getting the puck on net with some low tippable shots.

Kindl, much maligned here as of late, had a better game than the last few, primarily doing a better job of finding the passing lanes, and actually getting the puck up ice ata times.

Emmerton looked like someone had lit a fire under him. besides the two goals he had, he had another 3 or 4 solid chances, probably more than he has had all season. Hopefully this wake up call is the start of him finally getting on track.

McGrath was flying all night. He is really developing into a sneaky player offensively. His quick release surprised the Wolves netminder a couple of times with how fast he gets a low hard shot off.

Axelsson hasn't got much to show for his few chances, but continues to play with a chip on his shoulder, and is not afraid to scrum in front of the net.

Nice to see Delmore back in the lineup. He was jumping up in the play a lot but played a good game in his own end, even blocking shots a few times.

Tatar is treading water, not looking out of place, but not grabbing a spot and running with it. It is probably time for him to go to the OHL and dominate for a season before coming back next year to try again.

It is pretty amazing how much more fluid and mobile Kolosov is. He looks more confidant carrying the puck, but needs to unleash his cannon of a shot more often.

Official Game Sheet