Griffins Snuff Stars 4-1|
Grand Rapids offense buries league leader...
By Jason Kasiorek
The league leading Texas Stars came into tonight's game having only lost twice in regulation, giving up a stingy 32 goals in 19 games (1.68 per game). The Griffins explosive offense lit them up for four goals, and Daniel Larsson held the fort to give Grand Rapids a convincing 4-1 win. Patrick Rissmiller had a goal and an assist while rookie Tomas Tatar and veteran defenseman Doug Janik each added two assists. Jan Mursak, Kris Newbury and Jakub Kindl also added goals for Grand Rapids. Larsson, the second star of the game, made 24 saves including all 11 in the third period when Texas was trying to rally.
Grand Rapids played well in the first, but it was a pretty even period with neither team having the upper hand. The two teams traded scoreless powerplay chances late in the period with out a lo of dangerous chances. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - Tex 7.
Mursak opened the scoring early in the second, tipping in a Doug Janik point blast that clinked in off the post behind Climie. Newbury followed that up with a great chance in front but rang it off Climie's pads. Texas took advantage of a powerplay a few minutes later to even the score at one. Sceviour took a shot from the top of the circle with Larsson in the butterfly. The shot went over Daniel's shoulder and off the post for a goal. Less than three minutes later Rissmiller on the powerplay took a pass at the side of the net and snuck it through short side to restore the lead. This seemed to really amp up the Griffins as they took over the game, applying pressure and not allowing Texas to get anything set up. Newbury made it 3-1 with some great work right on the doorstep to bang home an Andy Delmore feed. Grand Rapids looked like they were on the powerplay at times even though it was 5 on 5, creating several dangerous chances down low. Shots on Goal: GR 16 - Tex 7.
Early in the third Vigilante boarded Rallo behind the net, leaving the Stars forward on the ice in the fetal position for quite a while. Crosty's presence in the scrum deterred any acts of retaliation. On the resulting powerplay, Rissmiller sprung Mursak for a shorty, but he fired it just wide. Texas stepped up its game in the third trying to rally and create some scoring chances. Daniel larsson was very sharp and the defenseman did a good job of clearing the zone, stifling the Texas offense. Kindl put the nail in the coffin when he blistered a shot from the point on the powerplay that beat Climie high, glove-side to make it 4-1. The Griffins kept pressure on Climie for the last few minutes until the buzzer went. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - Tex 11. For the Game: GR 36 - Tex 25.
Ritola - Newbury - Williams
Vigilante - McGrath - Tardif
Tatar - Rismiller - Mursak
Axelsson - Emmerton - Pare
Kolosov - Delmore
Janik - Kindl
Crosty - Pyett
Ritola - Newbury - Tardif
Williams/Pyett - Kindl
Tatar - Rissmiller - Mursak
Janik - Williams
Ritola - Newbury
Janik - Kindl
Emmerton - Williams
Kolosov - Delmore
Rissmiller - Mursak
3 Mursak - GR
2 Larsson - GR
1 Rissmiller - GR
A good effort by the boys to bounce back from the loss to rochester and take out the #1 team in the AHL. At times they were absolutely dominant, especially in the second period.
Logan Pyett continues to show improvement, his patience with the puck allows him to make some nice plays. his defense has really come around since last year.
Kindl had a couple of ugly turnovers early, but made up for most of his spotty play with his first goal of the season. He was paired with janik tonight instead of his usual partner Kolosov, and benefitted from Janik's offense production to finish +2.
Dick Axelsson was noticeable early, but faded as the game went on before limping off later in the game and disappearing from the bench. He would return later in the third, but did not have much of an impact.
In waht is getting to be a regular comment, Mursak had another super game. He was very aggressive, all over the ice and created some good scoring chances. His work on the PK also deserves notice.
Williams misfired on several good chances on the powerplay, and was not very effective tonight.
Tomas Tatar really looked confident tonight. At times he carried the puck with authority and was very involved.
Daniel Larsson showed off his uncanny puck and rebound control while in the butterfly again tonight. He is so good at redirecting rebounds while on his knees.
Evan mcGrath did not look like himself, losing several on on battles and just seemed out of sync. I wonder if he is fighting an undisclosed injury or illness.
Cory Emmerton also cooled off drastically from his play over the last few games and needs to regain the intensity and be a presence more often.