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Rivermen Ride Late Surge to 4-3 OT Win
Third period flameout dooms Griffins...
By Jason Kasiorek

The Griffins were guilty of not playing for a full 60 minutes, and tonight it cost them as the Peoria Rivermen took advantage of a late game collapse to tie and then win the match in overtime. Evan McGrath scored a pair of goals and Ville Leino kept up his recent scoring surge, adding his eight of the year. Grand Rapids gave up an uncharacteristic two powerplay goals in three chances, and scored two of their own with the man advantage in seven tries. Jimmy Howard gave up 4 goals on 26 shots, and did not look sharp in the loss.

Howard gave up a weak goal to open the period when Filowich skated out of the corner and put a weak wrister past his skate. Leino tied things up two minutes later on the powerplay when he converted a shot by Tardif over Holt for a goal. Aaron Downey and Cam Paddock were jostling each other after the whistle, and Ryan Oulahen stuck his nose in the scrum, but cooler heads eventually prevailed. Kolosov had a great chance late in the period when he jumped up into the play, letting a shot go from the slot that just missed the net. Lemieux and Tardif also had a great chance, two on one, but Holt poke checked the goalmouth pass away from Tardif. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Peo 4.

Helm had a good chance early but as he cut towards the net, Wagner smoked him into the crossbar from behind - drawing the wrath of Downey, but the officials kept it from becoming too much. A little later, Helm had another great chance that Leino re-directed just wide of the net. McGrath put GR ahead half way through the period when Pare sprung him on a break. Evan made a nice head and shoulder fake and stroked it past Holt. The lead was shortlived however as Junland tied things up three minutes later when he fired a shot from the slot past a screened Howard on the powerplay. Mcgrath tallied his second of the game, taking a Francis Lemieux pass in the slot and wristing it past Holt, high, stick side. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - Peo 6.

After clearly outplaying the Rivermen the first two periods, the tide turned in the third. Peoria turned up the intensity level, and the Griffins began to fall apart. Oulahen made a nice play to spring helm, but Holt just deflected it wide. Ericsson had an ugly giveaway right in front of his own net, but Howard came up big. Grand Rapids can't get the puck out of their end, and is losing a lot of the battles along the boards. The Griffins got a powerplay early in the period, but Haydar took a holding penalty and negated it. Talbot tied the game just past the five minute mark, roofing a shot from the circle on the powerplay that beat Howard. Kolosov couldn't catch up to the rebound of an errant Pyett shot, but Howard shut the door. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - Peo 12.

The overtime was all Peoria continuing their strong play. They scored the game winner on a broken play infornt of Howard. As he lay on his back in the crease, Fletcher shot in and lifted the puck over a down and out Howard for his first of the season. Shots on Goal: GR 0 - Peo 4. For the Game: GR 31 - Peo 26.

Leino - Abdelkader - Tardif
Lemieux - McGrath - Pare
Ritola -Emmerton - Haydar
Oulahen - Helm - Downey

Ericsson - Jozsa
Kolosov - Pyett
Kindl - Galvin

Starter: Howard
Backup: Larsson

Atherton - Knee
Stafford - Ribs

Leino - Helm - Tardif/Abdelkader
Haydar - Ericsson

Lemieux - McGrath - Pare
Kindl - Pyett

Ritola - Emmerton - Pare

Ritola - Oulahen
Ericsson/Kolosov - Jozsa

Emmerton - Haydar
Kindl - Jozsa/Galvin

Leino - Helm
Kolosov - Galvin


Logan Pyett got his bell rung midway through the game, and really seemed to be getting the worst it during the game. The rookie blueliner needs to toughen up and win more of the battles in his own end.

Jonathan Ericsson returned to the lineup and seemed to play with more jump and intensity then before his injury. He didn't have a great game but was improved over the beginning of the season.

Evan mcGrath continues to show great chemistry with the two frankie's. He really was doing a good job of getting open and going to the net.

Leino looked very good, displaying his awesome hands in close with several good opportunities. He went to the net, and fought through a few checks to get there.

Abdelkader also seemed to get roughed up a lot tonight, but took all they dished out without missing a beat.

Haydar had a tough night, and looked to be having a hard time handling the puck.

Jamie Tardif was a force in the corners and in front of the net, playing an agitating physical game.

Kolosov had a pretty good night and looks to be gaining confidence every game. His strong skating was put to use in all situations including a newer role on the penalty killing unit.

Aaron Downey had another good game, providing a physical presence and a strong forecheck.
Frankie Pare another great night and really seems to be hitting his stride. He has great vision, and makes things happen offensively, without being a defensive liability.

Official Game Sheet