Sateri Stands Tall in 2-1 Triumph Over IceHogs|
Joe Hicketts nets late game-winner...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 31st, 2018
Veteran netminder Harri Sateri had perhaps his best start of the season, holding off the visiting Rockford IceHogs at Van Andel arena to lift his team to a 2-1 win. Sateri only allowed one goal on 32 shots, and was the difference in this game, especially in the third period when he faced a 6-on-5 for well over two minutes as Rockford pressed for the tying goal. Carter Camper (9) broke a scoreless tie midway through the second period, but Rockford evened things up again less than five minutes later. Blueliner Joe Hicketts (2) scored the go-ahead goal late in third and the Griffins hung on for 2-1 win.
Brian Lashoff with a nice chance in front, but it hit Lankinen. Tyler Spezia in on net on a partial break but fired it wide. Joe Hicketts caught big Rutta with his head down and smoked him with a clean open ice hit. Carlsson got open and had a big drive from the circle that Lashoff went down and blocked. The rebound went right back to Carlsson for another shot, but Sateri snared it in his glove. Good penalty kill for the Griffins gave them some momentum as play began to shift in their favor. Big collision at center ice as Spezia and his check both went flying. It looked like the Griffins scored and a big scrum broke out next to the next and spilled over into the corner. Matt Ford dropped the gloves with Johnson for a grappling match. After things settled down, the officials declared no goal. The puck took a Griffins bounce right to Pope all alone in the slot. The rookie winger went in alone on net and snapped a shot wide. Matt Puempel with a shot from the circle and Colin Campbell crashed the net and had a poke at the rebound. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Rock 10.
The beginning of the second period was much more back and forth as both teams had chances, but not a lot of sustained pressure. Sateri was forced to make a couple of big saves back to back to preserve the scoreless tie. Carter Camper in alone on Lankinen and was hooked, setting up the first griffins powerplay. Great chance for the Griffins from the circle, and Carlsson was whistled off for hooking, setting up a 5-on-3 powerplay. Griffins with a tic-tac-toe passing play from Lashoff to Chris Terry who found Camper back door for a powerplay goal. Luke Johnson appeared to answer back for the IceHogs from right in front of Sateri, but the goal was waived off due to goaltender interference. Carlsson scored late in the period to tie the score at one each. Grand Rapids with a 3-on-2 and Terry had a big rip that Lankinen juggled but held on to. Dominik Shine with a quick shot right off the faceoff for a good chance. Late Griffins powerplay and Puempel had a big blast off his knees right at the buzzer than Lankinen held on to. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Rock 12.
The third period started with the balance of the penalty still on the clock for Rockford. The IceHogs cleared the puck over the glass, and Grand Rapids went right back to the 5-on-3. Puempel got the puck in prime scoring position but it took him too long to get it off. Vili Saarijarvi threw a big hip check on Pelletier at the line. Lashoff very involved offensively, carrying the puck up ice with authority. Puempel made contact with Louis after the whistle while skating through the crease. Several IceHogs took exception and big scrum broke out. Iacopelli went after Puempel. The Griffins sniper gave a pretty good accounting of himself, landing the majority of the blows in the fight. Hicketts and Noel also traded shots in front of the net. Louis tried to start something with McIlrath and Big Mac reached out, grabbed him by the collar and shook him like a rag doll. The diminutive IceHog chirped all the way to the penalty box. Moutrey put a shot on Sateri as he was moving and beat him five-hole, but it hit bodies in the crease behind the netminder and stayed out. Terry carried over the line and went across to Hicketts who drifted in and ripped a shot past Lankinen five-hole. Rockford pulled Lankinen with 2:32 left on the clock for the extra attacker. Campbell on the forecheck creating havoc, almost got the puck away for a clean scoring chance. Terry with a chance at the empty net in the closing seconds, but it went just wide. A shot by Rockford at the buzzer got through Sateri but not into the net as the Griffins held on to won 2-1. Shots on goal: GR 6 - Rock 10. For the game: GR 28 - Rock 32.
#15 Elson - #19 Camper - #25 Terry
#73 Puempel - #23 Turgeon - #45 Campbell
#12 Pope - #10 Holmstrom - #55 Ford
#16 Spezia - #39 Hulak - #65 Shine
#4 Sulak - #52 McIlrath
#18 Lashoff - #2 Hicketts
#27 Chelios - #9 Saarijarvi
Starter: #29 Sateri
Backup: #42 Rybar
#55 Ford - #15 Elson/#19 Camper - #25 Terry
#73 Puempel - #18 Lashoff
#39 Hulak - #19 Camper - #10 Holmstrom
#9 Saarijarvi - #2 Hicketts
#23 Turgeon - #45 Campbell
#18 Lashoff - #52 McIlrath
#55 Elson - #39 Hulak
#27 Chelios - #2 Hicketts
Exciting, physical game between two teams that don't like each other. Sateri played arguably his best game as a Griffin, and the physical pay seemed to make everyone play better.
Missing Zadina to help score up front, the defense appeared to be much more engaged in the offense and carrying the puck up ice. The rearguards accounted for 10 of the teams 28 shots and half the offense, a goal and two assists.
Chris Terry quietly kept up his torrid pace, netting two assists to move with 3 points of the top spot in the AHL. He has scored 9 points (3-6-9) in his last 5 games and currently leads the AHL with 21 goals.
The 4th line of Spezia, Hulak and Shine may not score often, but they have quietly done a great job defensively. Their ability to bloc shots and take away passing lanes makes it almost impossible to get the puck into the Griffins zone with possession when they are on the ice.