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MacDonald Backstops Griffins to 5-3 Win
Veteran puts on goaltending clinic before third period explosionÉ
By Jason Kasiorek
December, 17th, 2010

For the first two periods, Joey MacDonald was at the top of his game keeping his badly outshot team in the game until the offense ignited to take the win in the third. The veteran netminder 19 of 20 shots the first 40 minutes while his teammates generated only 10 shots on goal in that span. Then Tomas Tatar (1 goal and 1 assist) cranked up the offense, starting a 4 goal Griffins flurry to sink Lake Erie 5-3. Travis Ehrhardt (3), Logan Pyett (4), Joakim Andersson (3) and Ilari Filppula (13) also scored for Grand Rapids.

Not a lot of scoring chances in the period with only three total shots at the halfway point. This despite a couple of powerplays for each team. Big scrum in front of the Griffins net following an expiring powerplay, but calmer heads prevailed. Filppula made a heads up cross-ice feed to Ehrhardt who had joined the rush. The speedy blueliner fired the puck into the empty side of the net past Grahame for a man advantage goal and a 1-0 lead. Lake Erie answered back quickly when a defensive breakdown left Kolosov alone at the net against two monsters. Olver walked out in front and buried a shot to knot the score at one. Shots on Goal: GR 3 - LE 9.

The second period featured more physical play and some big hitting, especially the first half. Olver and Pare had a shoving match and both ended up in the box. Owens and Lannon dropped the gloves after a stoppage in play to fix a loose section of glass. Owens took the worst of it early before rallying back to take the win. Great stop by MacDonald who has been a wall in the net for Grand Rapids so far. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - LE 11.

The Griffins scored just past the six minute mark on a beautiful pass by Ehrhardt from the line cross-ice to Tatar in the circle who snapped a shot short-side between Graham and the post for a 2-1 lead. Pyett made it 3-1 when his powerplay point shot found it's way through Grahame's five hole. Lake Erie got one back on a delayed penalty when Van deer Gulik got position in front and converted a quick pass from Walter. On the next play Andersson picked up an Owens rebound and chipped it in as he fell to the ice to regain the two goal lead. Grahame went to the bench for the extra attacker with two and a half minutes left. Smith stole the puck and hit Filppula for the empty netter. Grahame to the bench again with Mursak in the box, and the Monsters scored a powerplay goal to cut the lead to two. Time ran out with the Griffins claiming a home ice win. Shots on goal: GR 6 - LE 14. For the Game: GR 16 - LE 34.

Tatar - Filppula - Minard
Tardif - Johnson - Pare
Owens - Andersson - Mursak
Straub - Andersson/Filppula - Coetzee

Ehrhardt - Smith/Amadio
Lashoff - Smith
Kolosov - Pyett

Starter: MacDonald
Backup: Pearce

Emmerton - Knee Raedeke - Injury Janik - Injury Meech - Injury

Tatar - Filppula - Mursak
Pare - Smith

Mursak/Minard - Johnson - Tardif
Pare/Pyett - Ehrhardt

Tardif - Andersson
Ehrhardt - Amadio/Pyett

Mursak - Minard
Lashoff - Smith

Owens - Johnson


Joey MacDonald stole a victory for his team who had no business being tied heading into the third period. He made some great stops and made the rest that he had to for the win.

Ehrhardt had another strong game seeing lots of ice time in all situations and scoring a couple of points. He is making it harder to scratch him when everyone is healthy.

Mursak was pretty quiet tonight, I had to keep checking the bench to see if he was still there.

Filppula showed off some sick moves tonight, dragging the puck through traffic with his skate and then kicking it to his stick to make a play. He deserves a look in Detroit and has been one of the few consistent threats on this team.

Brian Lashoff did a great job of using his body in the corners to separate the puck carrier from the puck. He was very noticeable for all of the right reasons.

Smith had a good game, quietly doing all of the little things, like holding the puck in the zone and finding the lane.

Official Game Sheet