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IceHogs Extend Losing Streak to 8 Games
Griffins fall in shootout 3-2...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 26th, 2010

Jordan Pearce turned in a solid performance in the net, earning second star honors and gave his team a chance to win. Unfortunately it was not meant to be as the team extended its winless streak to 8 games, dropping a 3-2 contest to the visiting Rockford IceHogs. Frankie Pare and Doug Janik scored for Grand Rapids in the losing effort, giving the team 6 goals in it's last 8 games. Pearce made 24 saves through the overtime period and stopped one of three in the shootout.

Netminder Jordan Pearce stopped a penalty shot two minutes and twenty seconds in in, giving Grand Rapids an early lift. Brendan Smith and Jeremy Morin dropped the gloves right in front of the net, engaging in a long up and down battle. Give Smith full marks for getting back up and battling back. Big hit by Tardif to knock the puck loose and create a scoring opportunity. 0-for-1 on the powerplay, hurt by the absence of Smith in the box, taking away the point shot option. A long shot from the circle beat Pearce high to give Rockford the lead just shy of the eleven minute mark. Amadio attacked Bollig in front, raining blows down on him until he lost his balance and went down. Nice play by Owens to set up the late man Meech while 4-on-4, but the shot was deflected high. The griffins spent way to much time in their own zone in the period. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Rock 9.

The Griffins started the second with some good pressure, but not much second effort after the initial pressure wave. The guys look like they are going through the motions. Mursak had a shorthanded breakaway from center ice, but fired the puck right into Richards. Minard dropped the gloves with Beach in the corner and got in a couple of licks before getting beat down pretty good. Minard drew the extra two minutes, served by Tatar. Traffic in front on the ensuing powerplay, and the puck was deflected over Pearce's outstretched glove and into the net. Two minutes later, Amadio cranked a seeing eye point shot through about six bodies and behind Richards to break the goose egg. Pare was given credit for redirecting the puck into the net, his fifth goal of the season. Meech disappeared from the Grand Rapids bench, and has been for quite some time. Lashoff dropped back to take his place on the blueline. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - Rock 8.

Early in the third, 5-on-3 Grand Rapids, Minard got a chance to the side of the net but couldn't one time it, allowing Richards to get over and take away the opening. Just as the first penalty expired, Janik wired a rocket from the line, low, stick-side past Richards to tie the game at 2. Owens pounced on a loose puck in the crease, but the goal was called back and ruled that it was kicked in. An Icehogs player was also down on the ice in front for a long time before leaving under his own power. Amadio blocked a shot and was stung, hobbling off the ice and directly down to the room. Tardif had a nice breakaway, but his weak backhand went wide. On the ensuing play, Jessiman piled into Pearce and bowled him into the net, touching off a big scrum. Pearce gave away the puck late in the period and had to scramble back to keep it from going in to his net. Brendan Smith was very choppy all night and tried in vain in the closing shifts to get a rematch with Morin, but to no avail. Shots on goal: GR 15 - Rock 5.

The Griffins had the better chances in the overtime, the best of which was a two-on-one with Emmerton and Minard. Emmerton made the perfect pass, but Minard remained snakebite and couldn't get a good shot off. Rockford had a couple of chances that looked more dangerous than they were because of Pearce juggling the puck. Shots on goal: GR 4 - Rock 4. For the Game: GR 42 - Rock 27.

The Shootout:
Johnson went first for the Griffins, firing a slapper from the slot that was stopped by Richards. The IceHogs first shooter Pirri Made a little move and then blew a shot by Pearce midway, stick-side. Tardif fired a weak shot that Richards stopped with a pad save, followed by Beach who ripped a shot five hole on Pearce to make it 2-0 through two rounds. Emmerton was next, and made a great move, but just couldn't lift the puck over Richards pad. Morin didn't get a shot away for Rockford to close out the third round, the victim of an aggressive poke-check by Pearce. Richards returned the favor on Tatar to start the first round and seal the win for the IceHogs.

Tatar - Emmerton - Johnson/Mursak
Owens - Andersson - Tardif
Minard - Pare - Mursak
Lashoff - Raedeke - Straub

Meech/ Kolosov - Smith
Kolosov/Lashoff - Pyett
Janik - Amadio

Starter: Pearce
Backup: McCollum

Filppula - Concussion

Tatar - Emmerton - Tardif/Johnson
Pare - Meech/Smith

Minard - Johnson - Mursak
Janik - Pyett

Owens - Andersson - Tardif
Owens/Raedeke - Johnson
Meech - Smith

Tardif - Andersson
Kolosov - Janik/Lashoff

Mursak -Emmerton


As is becoming a familiar story with this team, they ran up the shot clock with less than dangerous chances, and still could not find a way to score enough goals to get a win. As this streak progresses, there is also more evidence of system breakdown as players are trying to do more and more on their own instead of playing together as a team.

Pearce played well enough to win and certainly seemed to inspire more confidence that McCollum has as of late.

Brendan Smith was one of the few dangerous offensive options and continues to play well despite the scoring drought. His frustration was evident and boiled over again this game as he was choppy and in the other teams face all night.

Cory Emmerton played well, and was especially dangerous on the back check. He caused several good turnovers, but could not catch a break on offense, setting up teammates with lots of golden opportunities that were not converted.

Frankie Pare was very noticeable again tonight. His move to center seemed to make him move his feet more as he carried the puck and set up several quality scoring chances.

Raedeke and the rest of the 4th line hardly saw any ice time as the game went on, partially due to Lashoff having to go back on D.

Tardif was trying everything to get his team into the game, throwing hard checks all night and taking a team high 8 shots on goal.

Lashoff played sparingly up front, but really looked effective when injuries necessitated a move back to the blueline. He really stood out in the third.

Johnson is either playing with an inury or is gun-shy, as he coughed up the puck several times rather than take a hit to make the play.

With an eight game winless streak, and not many signs of breaking out of it, the coaching staff has got to be looking over its shoulder and dreading the ringing cel-phone. Hopefully something happens soon before the season or a coach is lostÉ

Official Game Sheet