The System
Message Board
Contact Us
Training Camp
RSS Feed
Griffins End The Year On A High Note With 3-2 Win
A Lucky McCollum and the goalposts down the Admirals 3-2...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 31st, 2011

The Griffins took advantage of a strong night between the pipes by the recently recalled Thomas McCollum and some serious puck luck to defeat the visiting Milwaukee Admirals 3-2. McCollum made 29 saves for his 5th win, not counting the 8+ saves he got from his goal posts, which played a big part in the outcome. Tatar (9), Lashoff (3) and Smith (5) provided the offense for Grand Rapids that withstood a late rally by Milwaukee including a late goal by former Griffin Chris Mueller.

Grand Rapids kept pace with the normally dominant Admirals team in the early going. Halfway through the period Pare fed Tatar who walked out in front and showed a ton of patience to suck out smith before fringe a shot into the net high, stick-side. Raedeke laid out Beck with a huge open ice hit, keying the Griffins hitting game. Mursak led an odd man rush down the ice but ran out of room before dropping it for the trailer who couldn't get a good shot off. Great save by McCollum to prevent a sure goal and then he got lucky as the rebound went off the post. Exelby took exception to a late hit, touching off a scrum in the corner. Tatar drove to the net and got knocked off the puck but it kept going and just about got by Smith. Shots on Goal: GR 5 - Mil 8.

Stortini scored early in the 2nd to knot the score at one. Exelby took a high hit in the corner and Pyett came right in and put a wicked cross check on the admirals' player. The Griffins got a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Pare and Johnson. Pare waited until the last minute and took a bad angle shot. Lots of hustle by Coetzee, Ferraro and Parkes to keep the puck deep, eventually drawing a penalty. The Griffins hard work drew a penalty to turn it into a 5-on-3 powerplay. Smith had a couple of big point blasts that hurt Admirals who were unfortunate enough to be in the way. Mursak in front had the puck roll right off his stick. The puck drifted back to Lashoff at the line, and he rifled a shot past smith for a powerplay goal. Grand Rapids scored again at the horn, but it was called off, starting yet another big scrum. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Mil 9.

McCollum made a juggling save to deny Milwaukee a goal. Pare and Sloan exchanged some words but were sent to the box before dropping the gloves. Brendan Smith picked up a shot from Johnson and fired a long shot through a couple of bodies and behind the Milwaukee Netminder. McCollum's luck is still holding as he was saved by another post and a fluke bounce just wide. Another great shift by the Aubry-Callahan-Parkes line giving Milwaukee fits. Piche finished his check in the corner and sprung Tatar on a partial breakaway for a great scoring chance. Milwaukee pulled Smith to the bench for the extra skater. Mueller got the puck right in front and lifted it over McCollum with 1:10 on the clock. Shots on goal: GR 7 - Mil 14. For the Game: GR 23 - Mil 31.

Parkes - Aubry - Callahan
Tatar - Johnson - Pare
Brunnstrom - Raedeke - Mursak
Amadio - Ferraro - Coetzee

Smith - Janik
Lashoff - Pyett
Exelby - Piche

Starter: McCollum
Backup: MacDonald

Ehrhardt - Shoulder (Long Term)

Brunnstrom - Raedeke - Mursak
Smith - Janik

Tatar - Johnson - Pare
Lashoff - Pyett

Tatar - Ferraro
Lashoff - Exelby

Johnson - Brunnstrom
Janik - Smith

Pare - Mursak


GR played a good game and it was nice to see them beat Milwaukee for a change. I lost track of how many times the puck beat McCollum and hit one of the posts, but it was once said that you have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good, and he truly was tonight.

Brent Raedeke was very active and involved offensively and looked to be playing with more confidence. He was really showcasing his speed and grit and his line did a good job of cycling the puck in the offensive zone.

I will also have to say that the rookie line of Parkes - Aubry - Callahan was probably the Griffins best for large parts of the game. They drove the Admirals to distraction and played hard every shift.

I think that in the absence of Andersson, Conner and Nyquist, coach Fraser has had no choice but to lean on the younger guys, and the results speak for themselves. Given actual playing time, the rookies have stepped up in a big way, and as a result, the team is playing much better. Instead of double shifting his scorers, everybody is getting a chance to contribute. Hopefully when a few of them return, we don't go back to that.

Official Game Sheet