Griffins Hold On To Dim Stars 5-4|
Tootoo's first goal stands up as game-winner...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 29th, 2013
The Griffins scored early and often to build a 5-2 lead, and then had to hang on in a crazy finish to walk away with a 5-4 win. Mitch Callahan kept up his hot hand, scoring his 9th of the season and second shorthanded goal of the campaign. grand Rapids also got goals from Riley Sheahan (4), David McIntyre (2), Teemu Pulkkinen (8) and Jordan Tootoo (1). Petr Mrazek made 21 saves to pick up his 8th win of the season.
Big hit by Tootoo on McKenzie on the opening shift. Peters drew first blood for Texas when he came late and pounced on a juicy centering pass from Wathier behind the net. Glendening corralled a bouncing puck right in front and put a shot on net. The puck lay in the crease and Ferraro had a stab at it before Nilstorp covered. Texas very aggressive, pressuring the Griffins net. Callahan crashed the net and was taken down, bowling over Nilstorp. Emmerton chipped the puck ahead and got a shorthanded breakaway. Callahan followed up the play, picked up the puck, made a nice move and deposited the puck behind Nilstorp for a shorty. A few minutes later, Sproul fired a rocket from the point that was redirected in front by Sheahan to give the Griffins a 2-1 lead. Good shift by Tootoo, a couple of big hits and a scoring chance. McKenzie at the side of the net managed to hit Mueller on the opposite side for a back door slam to knot the game at two. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Tex 12.
McIntyre carried the puck out from behind the net and roofed it to restore the Griffin's one goal lead. Jurco spin-o-Rama in front of Nilstorp for a dangerous chance, then back down the ice and a big scrum broke out. Evans got some retaliation for an earlier hit on Mrazek and took the penalty. End to end action, with the Griffin's throwing some big hits.
Shots on Goal: GR 9 - Tex 3.
Pulkkinen rifled a shot from just over the line the bulged the twine behind Nilstorp to make it 4-2 GR. The Griffins dominating play, Texas didn't get their third shot of the period until after the halfway point. Two-on-One with Ferraro and Tootoo, Ferraro made a great pass and Tootoo buried it stick side for his first as a Griffin. Eaves took his second consecutive penalty late in third and Nilstorp went to the bench for a 6-on-4 advantage. Glennie finished off a nice passing play on the powerplay to pull the stars within two. Less than a minute later Dowling used Jarnkrok as a screen and cut the lead to one. The Griffins managed to hang on for the last minute and change to preserve a 5-4 win over the Texas Stars. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Tex 10. For the Game: GR 34 - Tex 25.
Tootoo - Glendening - Ferraro
Jurco - Jarnkrok - Eaves
Sheahan - Emmerton - Pulkkinen
Grant - McIntyre - Callahan
Marchenko - Almquist
Fournier - Ouellet
Evans - Sproul
Eaves - Emmerton - Jurco
Almquist - Jarnkrok
Pulkkinen - Sheahan - Ferraro
Marchenko - Sproul
Emmerton - Callahan
Evans - Ouellet
Glendening - Ferraro
Marchenko - Almquist
Not many notes. Two even looking teams. At times the play was aback and forth in the neutral zone with neither team able to get much going. The Griffins found a way to break through and make their shots count, tomorrow nights rematch should be interesting. This game was very reminiscent of the Oklahoma City series last season.
The Captain and Paetsch sat out as the veteran rotation scratches. Grant, Glendening and Evans with the A's for GR.
Eaves took two bad penalties and really did not show much tonight. he seemed to be floating and waiting for someone else to get him the puck. It would not surprise me to see him as a scratch tomorrow.
Tomas Jurco got the dangle going midway through the game and just missed on several sick scoring chances as he embarrassed a few defensemen. This is a great sign if he can start to play this way again, as he is already off to a great start 6th in AHL scoring.
Glendening has really picked up his physical game as of late. He is much more gritty, throwing big hits and bulling his way around the net.