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Griffins Rally Falls Short in 4-3 Shootout Loss
GR scores powerplay goal for 10th straight game...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 2, 2016

The visiting Iowa Wild managed to shut down the potent Griffins offense long enough to sneak out of town with a 4-3 shootout win on Friday night. The Griffins managed to rally back from a two-goal deficit to tie the score with 8 seconds on the clock in regulation on a rocket from Martin Frk. Frk add also scored the team's first goal and assisted on the tally from Matt Lorito as both forward had 3-point nights. Eddie Pasquale took the shootout loss for Grand Rapids, stopping 25 shots.

The Wild struck first early in the period when Robbie Russo got crossed up and allowed a pass from the corner to reach Beck in the circle. Beck roofed it for a 1-0 lead. Hicketts stood up Hoggan on the rush and sent him flying. The former Griffins captain returned the favor later in the shift, knocking Hicketts to the ice and giving him a face wash for good measure. Nice work by Hicketts to hold it in at the line with a player bearing down on him. Evgeny Svechnikov was roughed up a little on the play and Callahan went right over to have some words. Callahan got the puck deep for a good chance as he went down and then Street had a beauty chance in front off the rebound. Giveaway by Russo deep in his own zone. Grand Rapids scrambling to shut it down and clear the puck. Two-on-one Lorito and Frk, Lorito sent a beautiful pass across and Frk blasted it into the net. Iowa ended up with a late powerplay with Svechnikov in the box for high-sticking. Schroeder found Beck at the side of the net and Beck made a sick behind the back pass to Cannone in the slot for a nice goal, chipping it in over Pasquale and a down and out Jensen. Shots on goal: GR 8 - Iowa 10.

The second was a slower paced period without a lot of good chances or zone possession by either team. Midway through the period Warner slid a long shot along the ice that hit Lashoff's skate and went by Pasquale's foot, stick side for a goal. Martin Frk with a thundering check in the corner trying to bring some energy. Huge stop by Pasquale on a Pulkkinen drive. Lorito cut the lead to one late in the period when he flew up the middle and clinked a shot in off the crossbar for his 8th of the season. Shots on goal: GR 7 - Iowa 7.

Pasquale caught a break when he went down and left Pulkkinen in front of an empty net with the puck, but the Finnish sniper fired it wide. Matt Ford with a great chance in the circle hit Stalock high, but the puck just deflected over the net. Ford at the line deflected the puck up into his own face and left the ice quickly, but he would return. Nathan Paetsch slashed the stick out of Pulkkinen's stick and the Iowa player was not happy that there was no call. The Griffins dodged another bullet when a loose puck lay in front of the net, and it took several chances for the Griffins to clear it. Svechnikov with a sick spin-o-rama move and a toe drag into the zone for a chance. Late powerplay for Grand Rapids as Svechnikov got smoked in the corner. Pasquale to the bench for the extra skater giving GR a 6-on-4 advantage. Callahan to Frk with 8 seconds left for a long point shot that beat Stalock and the Van Andel erupted. Shots on goal: GR 10 - Iowa 8.

The overtime was all Grand Rapids as the Griffins had the puck almost the whole five minutes. Frk with speed let a blistering shot go that Stalock had to juggle. Back into the Griffins end, Callahan sacrificed the body to block a shot in the slot. Iowa assessed a too many men on the ice penalty giving Grand Rapids a 4-on-3 advantage. The powerplay was a Frk shooting gallery, as the strategy seemed to be get him the puck. In the end Stalock stood tall, sending the game to the shootout. Shots on goal: GR 5 - Cle 3. For the Game: GR 30- Iowa 29.

The Shootout:
The first round of the shootout featured former Griffin Teemu Pulkkinen for Iowa and he wound up for a big shot but fired it wide. Kyle Criscuolo went first for the Griffins skating in slowly and making a nice move to freeze Stalock but couldn't get the puck over his leg pad. Alex Tuch went second for the Wild, cutting in from the side, but missed the net on his attempt. Matt Lorito went to the net with speed and ripped a shot that missed the net. Colton Beck scored the only goal of the shootout, sniping a shot past Pasquale stick side. Frk was the last shooter for Grand Rapids and he rifled a shot wide of the net, giving Iowa the win.

Callahan - Street - Svechnikov
Frk - Nosek- Lorito
Criscuolo - Aubry - Ford
Sadowy - Turgeon - Borkowski

Renouf - Russo
Lashoff - Jensen
Paetsch - Hicketts

Starter: Pasquale
Backup: Heeter

#11 Cleary - Veteran
#17 Caito
#26 Tangradi - Hand
#44 Allen
#45 Campbell

Callahan - Nosek - Lorito
Frk - Street

Ford - Criscuolo - Svechnikov
Russo - Allen

Aubry - Street
Lashoff - Jensen

Nosek - Ford
Paetsch - Renouf


Joe Hicketts had a nice game after taking the night off on Wednesday. He was noticeable defensively, and threw some big hits. The offensive part of his game is still dormant, but he sees the ice so well, that the defensive side is coming along nicely.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Robbie Russo continues to pile up points but has been less than stellar in his own end. He is capable of making very nice plays, it just seems like he has a pause in his thought process. It is noticeable when he is under pressure in the defensive zone and also watching him on the powerplay.

Martin Frk was credited with 7 shots, but he probably had twice that many or more counting blocked shots and shots that missed the net. He continues to play with a bit of an edge to his game, but needs to add a little more away from the puck.

Official Game Sheet