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Griffins Snuff Flames 5-1
Rookie Mrazek out-duels league leader Brust...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 21st, 2012

The visiting Abbotsford Heat expected to ride netminder Barry Brust, the league leader in several categories, to another low scoring win, but rookie phenom Petr Mrazek was the real story tonight. The Griffins starter stopped 29 shots and came with 3 minutes of his first shutout of the season as his team lit up Abbotsford for 5 goals, chasing Brust after two periods. Riley Sheahan had a pair of goals (5, 6) for Grand Rapids, and had a third called back. Sniper Frankie Pare notched his 11th, Andersson added his 8th and Nyquist closed out the scoring with an empty netter (9). Mrazek turned in his 9th win in 12 decisions and lowered his GAA in december to 1.82.

Abbotsford spent a lot of time in the Griffins end in the first period. League leader Barry Brust was up to the test, stopping the few chances that Grand Rapids got. The Griffins seems to be able to get into the Heat zone with their speed but the defense blocked a lot of shots once they got there. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Abb 13.

Byron got a high hit up on Paetsch and laid him out. Callahan went right over for a talk. The resulting penalty evened things up at four aside and eventually left the Griffins with a powerplay. A streaking Tatar sucked out Brust and froze him. He then walked around him and dumped it into the crease from behind the netminder. Andersson crashed the crease and banged it home for a 1-0 lead. The Griffins gained energy from the goal and started to bring the game to Brust. Late in the period Gr got another puck behind Brust for a 2-0 score. Pare got the puck behind the net and centered a pass to Sheahan back door and the young center stroked the puck into the empty side if the cage. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Abb 10.

Taylor started the third period between the pipes for Abbotsford, replacing Brust. The Griffins struck again, this time on the powerplay when Almquist put a point shot on net and the rebound bounced into the slot where Pare pounced on it and chipped it in over Taylor. Later in the period the Griffins converted another powerplay, this time it was Paetsch's point shot that was tipped into the bet by Sheahan at the edge of the paint. Less than a minute later, the heat finally solved Mrazek on a goal by Tuzzolino to break the shutout bid with just over three minutes remaining. Sheahan potted an empty better for the hat trick with two minutes on the click, but it was called back as the official intended to blow the play offsides. A minute later Nyquist buried one into the empty cage that counted to ice a 5-1 win. Glen denying had a nice tip in front that almost made it 6-1. Callahan started shoving a Heat player and a big scrum broke out. The click ran down and at the whistle a big brawl broke out, the center of which was Evans putting a beating on Reinhart. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Abb 7. For the Game: GR 27 - Abb 30.

Hoggan - Ferraro - Nestrasil
Tatar - Andersson - Nyquist
Pare - Sheahan - Jurco
Grant - Glendening - Callahan

Evans - Billins
Paetsch - Smith
Almquist - Lashoff

Starter: Mrazek
Backup: McCollum


Tatar - Andersson - Nyquist
Smith - Billins

Pare - Ferraro - Sheahan/Hoggan
Paetsch - Evans

Ferraro - Andersson
Paetsch - Smith

Andersson - Callahan
Paetsch - Evans

Sheahan - Ferraro


Sheahan seems to suffer from some bad luck as both times he has had a 2-goal game, he has scored an apparent hat trick goal only to have it called back or credited to someone else. He continues to be impressive and as he gains consistency will be a player to be reckoned with.

Official Game Sheet