Griffins Take Shootout Win Over Bulldogs 2-1|
Stafford's goal in the last round gets it done...
By Jason Kasiorek
Garrett Stafford scored a beauty of a goal in the last round of the shootout to give the Grand Rapids Griffins a 2-1 win over the visiting Hamitlon Bulldogs. The goal was a nice redemption for Stafford, who missed a wide open net in the dying seconds of the third period that would have given GR the win. Rookie Jakub Kindl scored the other goal for Grand Rapids which won for the fourth time in five games.
The Griffins played a lackluster game for the most part, just good enough to win but not very exciting. Despite the high shot total differential, most of the Grand Rapids scoring chances were not dangerous. Hamilton got on the board halfway through the first when enforcer Jimmy Bonneau scored his first AHL goal, a bad angle shot from the bottom of the circle that beat Howard. Shots on goal: GR 15 - Ham 8.
Ference grappled with Stewart in front of the Hamilton bench, but neither really did much damage before being sent off for their respective five minute vacations. Jakub Kindl evend things up jst past the nine minute mark of the period when he put a weak wrist shot on net from just inside the line that found its way through Danis high, stick side. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Ham 6.
The third period was pretty uneventful until late, when the Griffins upped the tempo and started a siege on the Bulldogs net. Ference broke his stick at the point allowing a break on Howard, but Ericsson got back just in time and broke up the play. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Ham 5.
The Griffins were shorthanded to start the overtime session but managed to kill off the penalty thanks to some unbelievable scrambling saves by Howard. It looked like the Griffins might win the game late in the OT when they were awarded a powerplay. Hartigan put on a shooting gallery, going through three sticks in the process. Stafford blew a shot off the post on a wide open net in the dying seconds, and the game went to a shootout. Shots on goal: GR 2 - Ham 2. For the Game: GR 40 - Ham 21.
Matt D'Agostini went first for Hamilton ripping a shot past Howard low, glove side. Mark Hartigan zippen in and roofed a shot to make it 1-1. Corey Locke made it 2-1 when he froze Howard and lifted the puck over him. Corazzini cut in and made a nice move but Danis stayed with him and made the save. Urquhartrang a shot off Howards chest in round three, but Cullen snapped a quick shot five-hole on Danis to tie things up at 2. Desharnais was stopped by Howard but Ritola could not finish after a slick move on Danis. Milroy Fired it wide in round five setting up Stafford's heroics. Garrett went in on net made a couple of fakes and sucked Danis out before depositing it in the open side of the net as he circle back through the corner.
Corazzini - Cullen - Helm
Oulahen - Hartigan - Tardif
Gelech/Engelhardt - McGrath - Ritola
Galvin/Kindl - Quincey
Galvin - Ericsson
Stafford - Insana
Ference - Kindl
GR dressed 7 defenseman, so the rotation was tough to track.
Corazzini - Cullen - Helm/Engelhardt/Ritola
Quincey - Stafford
Ritola/Helm - Hartigan - Tardif
Kindl - Insana
4 on 3 PP
Oulahen/Cullen - Tardif
Ference - Stafford
Hartigan - Helm/Corazzini
Quincey/Ericsson - Insana
Cullen - Corazzini
Another solid outing by Howard, stopping 20 shots including a couple of huge ones late in the game.