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Griffins Romp Over Rivermen 4-1
Larsson wins goaltending duel with Toivonen, notches ninth win...
By Jason Kasiorek

Grand Rapids got two goals in the first and held on to take a 4-1 win over the Peoria Rivermen. Daniel Larsson won a hard fought goaltender's battle with Hannu Toivonen, stopping 24 shots for the win. Toivonen stopped 39 of 41, and then watched from the bench as the Griffins scored a pair of empty netters late in the game. Jan Mursak (7), Patrick Rissmiller (5), Mattias Ritola (6) and Tomas Tatar(6) scored for Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids came out on fire, putting the puck on net early. Mursak with a great individual effort took the puck through the slot, spun around, and put a shot into the opposite side of the net, glove side about elbow height. Later in the period Pyett wound up for a big shot from the point that rebounded out to Tatar along the boards. He got it to Rissmiller who converted from a bad angle at the bottom of the circle. Kolosov put an exclamation point on the period with a thundering hit in the corner. The Griffins dominated the period, carrying play for large portions as evidenced by the shots on goal. Shots on Goal: GR 20 - Peo 7.

Things slowed down a bit in the second as the intensity level seemed to fall off as time went on. Midway through the period Cracknell picked up an errant puck and burned it past Larsson from the slot for an unassisted goal to put Peoria on the board. Breakaway by Rissmiller , who spun around and rang a shot off the post, behind Toivonen and back out the other side. Another rush a few minutes later, and Tardif clanked one off the post. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - Peo 9.

Toivonen stood on his head keeping his team in the game without a lot of help from the guys in front of him. Several good Grand Rapids chances, mostly breakaways and odd man rushes, but the Rivermen netminder closed the door. With a minute and a half left though he was pulled for the extra skater. Ritola stole the puck and fired it the length of the ice for an empty netter a few seconds later to make it 3-1. Tatar picked off a pass 45 seconds later and fired it down the ice into the empty net to make it 4-1. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Peo 9. For the Game: GR 43 - Peo 25.

Ritola - Newbury - Tardif
Tatar - Rismiller - Williams
Axelsson - Emmerton - Mursak
Vigilante - Pare - Walsh

Kolosov - Janik
Crosty - Pyett
Ehrhardt - Delmore

Starter: Larsson
Backup: McCollum


Ritola - Newbury - Tardif
Williams - Janik

Tatar - Rissmiller - Mursak
Delmore - Pyett

Axelsson - Emmerton - Mursak

Rissmiller - Mursak
Kolosov - Janik/Pyett

Tardif - Newbury
Ehrhardt - Delmore

Emmerton - Pare

Three Stars:
3 Toivonen - Peoria
2 Mursak - GR
1 Rissmiller - GR


Not a lot of notes tonight besides the normal comments about Mursak and Larsson.

The team played a good game, and were ready to go from the opening bell. They didn't quite put in a full 60 minutes, but played well enough to win.

One of the things that really stood out was watching Tomas Tatar sacrificing his body blocking shots. The rookie continues to impress with his all around game, adding another goal doesn't hurt.

Official Game Sheet