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Rookie Russo Leads Griffins Over IceHogs 3-2
Rookie rearguard notches first career goal and a pair of assists in the win...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 18th, 2015

Robbie Russo picked a good time to record his first pro goal, a clutch marker that broke a 2-2 tie in the third to give the Griffins a 3-2 win. Grand Rapids also took advantage of Tomas Jurco, recently assigned by the parent Detroit Red Wings on a conditioning stint, who shook off the rust of being a frequent scratch in Detroit to put on a fairly dominant performance for the Griffins. Netminder Jared Coreau made 33 stops for the win, his third of the season. Grand Rapids also got goals from Andy Miele (2) and Nathan Paetsch (2) on the night.

The Griffins got off to a slow start but really picked up the pace and started skating midway through the first. Hoggan had a brilliant chance in front and just couldn't get the puck over Leighton's pad. Tangradi had a point blank scoring chance on a nifty feed from Miele. Nosek broke in on Leighton, made a slick little move and fired a shot off the netminders' pad. Hoggan in the slot facing a nearly wide open net, hit Nastasiuk's skate with the shot. Hinostroza walked right around Sproul for a dangerous chance on Coreau. Jurco fed the puck through an IceHog to Tangradi on the doorstep, but he was too surprised to get a good shot off. Shots on goal: GR 14 - Rock 12.

Miele got the Griffins on the board early in the second with a quick flick of the wrist on the doorstep for his second of the season. Coreau came up with a huge series of saves to preserve the Griffins lead. Grand Rapids in penalty trouble with two players in the box, but the penalty killers were up to the task. Paetsch hit Callahan coming out of the penalty box for a breakaway, but he fired it high and wide. Two on one with Tangradi and Jurco. Tangradi made a nice pass to Jurco who fired in into the goaltender. Paetsch made it 2-0 when his long, low shot got by Leighton with Jurco screening in front. The goal was reviewed but allowed to stand. DeSousa lined up Miele and crushed him with a high open-ice hit. Callahan went right over and knocked DeSousa to the ice, touching off a big scrum. Callahan and Ross spent most of their time in their respective boxes jawing at each other. Late in the period, Ouellet turned the puck over right in front of Coreau and Bickell buried it past a stunned Coreau to cut the lead to one. Shots on goal: GR 10 - Rock 9.

Rockford knotted the score at two with a bad angle shot by Dowell from the corner behind the goal line that caught Coreau cheating off the post. Grand Rapids got it right back when Russo wired a point shot through Leighton with Ouellet in front for his first pro goal. Coreau made the save of the game when he made a big stop and then slid across the net to stop the rebound. Callahan with a couple of good chances late. Coreau went behind the net and got caught, luckily the defense bought him enough time to get back before the IceHogs could muster a shot. Rockford called a time out with 1:48 left in the clock and then kept Leighton on the bench for the extra attacker. Grand Rapids cleared the puck several times before time ran out on a 3-2 Griffins win. Shots on goal: GR 10 - Rock 14. For the game: GR 34 - Rock 35.

Callahan - Miele - Mantha
Tangradi - Nosek - #28 Jurco
#11 Cleary - Zengerle - Campbell
Hoggan - Aubry - Nastasiuk

Paetsch - Jensen
Ouellet - #5 Russo
Lashoff - Sproul

Starter: Coreau
Backup: McCollum

#39 Bertuzzi
#27 Frk
#42 Nedomlel
#23 Grant - Injured
#44 Rechlicz

Callahan - Zengerle - Jurco
Ouellet - Sproul

Tangradi - Miele - Mantha
Paetsch - Russo

Cleary - Campbell
Paetsch - Jensen

Nosek - Aubry
Ouellet - Lashoff


It's amazing the difference one player can make. Jurco came out and skated circles around the IceHogs on one of his first shifts, and the rest of the team started to crank it up to try and play at that level.

Official Game Sheet