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Griffins Rally Back to Take Marlies In Shootout 2-1
Joey MacDonald wins goaltenders duel with 43 save performance╔
By Jason Kasiorek
www.griffinscentral.com
December, 31st, 2010

In what is starting to become a familiar refrain, Joey MacDonald stood on his head to keep his team in the game until Frankie Pare could force the issue and send the game to overtime and eventually a shootout. The slick forward even looked to have won the game in overtime before having the goal called back for a hand pass. The two netminders matched each other save for save until a turnover led to a Marlies goal midway through the third. The Griffins clawed back to force the extra session before winning it in the skills competition.

Amadio dropped the gloves with Slaney and took him right down, ending up sitting on him. A few minutes later, Mitchell took out Lashoff behind the net, leaving the rookie blueliner on the ice for quite some time. He eventually left the ice with some help, favoring his left leg, and went right to the room. Owens got the worst of a short bout with Brennan just to the side of the Marlies net. The period continued to get rougher as the officials seemingly lost their whistles. Foster pummeled Smith in front of the Griffins bench as the period wound down. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Tor 8.

Smith came up the slot, picked up a rebound and broke his stick on the slapped, ruining a great scoring chance. Meech got run along the boards by Kadri and Pare and Coetzee went right over. Full marks for Pare who dropped the gloves to stick up for his teammate. He took his lumps, but gave back some to. Great shift by Ehrhardt going end to end and making plays in traffic around the net. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Tor 18.

Great two-on-one with Owens and Johnson. Owens took a shot that handcuffed Scrivens, but he managed to keep it out. Tardif smoked Brennan behind the net, and the Marlies blueliner was hot, trying to break his stick on the boards after returning to the bench. Pyett, the last man back, turned over the puck at the line leading to a 2-on-0 for the Marlies that finally solved MacDonald on the 34th shot. Pare came out from behind the with the puck and just about scored on the wraparound, but Scrivens dove back to make the save. a few minutes later, Pare got the job done, fishing the puck out of traffic in front and potting the game tying shot with 1:37 on the clock. Shots on goal: GR 12 - Tor 11.

Kadri bowled over MacDonald in the crease, but no penalty was called, a common theme on the night. Kolosov went over towards Kadri, but the officials were there before anything could happen. Tardif was being mugged at the side of the net but managed to shovel the puck to Pare who scored the apparent game winner. It was ruled a hand pass and no goal, but no call on the Marlies player riding on Tardif's back around the net, brutal. So the game continued on to the shootout. Shots on goal: GR 3 - Tor 7. For the Game: GR 42 - Tor 44.

Kadri was the first shooter for Toronto and blazed in on net where MacDonald reached out and poked the puck away from him. Pare went next for the Griffins and rang a shot off Scrivens' mask and into the top of the net for a 1-0 lead. Caruana was the second Marlies shooter swinging way out to the side and cutting in on net where he slid the puck five-hole on MacDonald to knot the score. Filppula regained the lead when he froze Scrivens and tucked the puck in the side of the net. Hanson missed the net to start the third round and Tardif closed it firing the puck into Scrivens' pads. Engel was unsuccessful in his attempt when MacDonald executed the poke check perfectly and he ended up upside down in the net. Emmerton ripped a shot between Scrivens' legs for the win.

Lines:
Owens - Andersson - Johnson
Minard - Emmerton - Filppula
Coetzee - Tardif - Pare
Straub - Raedeke - Pare/Minard

Pairings:
Ehrhardt - Amadio
Lashoff/Smith - Meech
Kolosov - Pyett

Starter: MacDonald
Backup: Pearce

Scratches:
Janik - Broken Hand

PP:
Filppula - Emmerton - Minard
Meech - Pyett

Tardif - Johnson - Coetzee
Ehrhardt - Kolosov

PK:
No Penalty Kills

Observations:

I can't say enough for MacDonald performance tonight. He put up with traffic in the crease, getting bowled over, high sticked and interfered with all night. He stood tall and deserved the first star.

Travis Ehrhardt continues his ascension up the depth chart with another top notch performance. His ability to carry the puck and create plays is becoming second only to Smith. Every game he seems to gain more confidence and try more things. He did a tremendous job of breaking up plays as they came across the Griffins blueline and used his mobility to cover for other teammates. He also was rewarded with some powerplay time on the Griffins lone powerplay.

Meech however did not have a great game. He tried to force the play several times and gave the puck away often. He was in the right spot to set up the game tying goal however.

Tough night for GR's blueline as both Lashoff and Smith left with injuries.

Cory Emmerton looked very sharp in his return from injury. He looked winded early but was an impact player almost every shift.

It was also nice to have Raedeke back and his speed and forechecking were noticeable all game.

Logan Pyett had a couple of huge turnovers and was a victim of the boo-birds as the game went on.



Official Game Sheet