GR Dethrones Rochester with 4-1 Win
Himelfarb Sparks Win...
By Jason Kasiorek
A convincing 4-1 win by the Griffins over the 1st place Rochester Americans dropped them out of the top spot in the league, leaving them second to Wilkes-Barre. Jimmy Howard was strong and confident in the net, stopping 28 shots, and allowing only one goal, a puck that hit his defenseman and deflected past him. The suddenly hot Darryl Bootland (7) scored his 5th goal in the last 6 games, while Himelfarb added a goal (3) and 2 assists. Syvret (4) and Brooks (6) also scored for Grand Rapids.
The Griffins picked up where they left off yesterday, jumping out to a 1-0 lead early in the game. Just over a minute in Bootland went to the front of the net and collected a Miller centering pass, wristing it by Dennis stick-side. Lots of end to end action with both teams playing good defensively. Grand Rapids capitalized on a delayed penalty to the Amerks just after the 10 minute mark when Syvret's point shot found its way through to the net and past Dennis for a 2-0 lead. The Griffins cranked it up another notch at this point, playing a defensively dominant game. Everytime the Americans get the puck, there are two Griffins there either getting in front of the shot, or getting a stick on it. Shots on goal: GR 7 - Roc 5
Brendan Brooks kicked off the second with an early goal to make it 3-0. Himelfarb made a great play to get the puck to the net, and Brooks following up the play picked up the rebound in the slot for a stck-side slam. Great flow and pace to the game, no penalties or stoppages. Grand Rapids is winning all of the little battles for posession along the boards and in the corners. The Griffins are also doing a good job finishing their checks. GR 10 - Roc 8.
Booter got bowled into the crease and the goalie punched him while he was down. Darryl eventually dropped the gloves and started swinging, which of course drew a crowd. Rochester finally got on the board five and a half minutes into the third when a shot from the corner by Mancari hit Insana in front of the net and deflected past a surprised Howard low stick-side. With time winding down and Bootland in the box, the Amerks pull Dennis for the extra attacker, but Himelfarb comes up with the puck and shoots it the length of the ice for a Short-handed Empty-net goal. Shots: GR 8 - Roc 16
Oulahen - Himelfarb - Brooks
Langfeld - Miller - Bootland
Radunske - Miller/Himelfarb - Keller
Hussey - Ellis - Campbell
Ericsson - Galvin
Smith - Meech
Insana - Syvret
Langfeld - Himelfarb - Keller
Ericsson - Syvret
Ellis - Miller - Bootland
Hussey - Galvin
Himelfarb - Langfeld
Meech - Smith
Norton - Injured - Back
Quincey - Injured - Concussion
3 GR Himelfarb
2 GR Miller
1 GR Howard
The team played even better today than they did yesterday. An incredible effort by everyone involved. Rochester was clearly frustrated by the Griffins speed and forechecking.
I can't belive that Miller was chosen as second star over Himelfarb. Eric had a fantastic night and was one of the most noticeable players on the ice. It was great to see him rewarded offensively, but that was a secondary part of his game. He played great defensively and really did a good job of using his speed and stickhandling skills to wreak havoc in the Amerks zone. In a comparison I don't make lightly, he took a page out of Matt Ellis' book this game.
I talked to Kyle Quincey briefly and he said that he would be back for the next game and was feeling much better.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.