Himelfarb Leads Griffins Past Penguins|
Speedy Center's Two Goals Lead The Way...
By Jason Kasiorek
Eric Himelfarb scored two goals in the first period to power the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-3 shootout win over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. Ryan Oulahen had a shorthanded goal in the second, and all three Griffins shooters scored during the shootout for the win. Joey MacDonald making his second conditioning start made 27 saves and all three Penguins shootout attempts for the victory.
Wilkes-Barre took a 1-0 lead right out of the gate when Derek meech couldn't stop his man from making a goal mouth pass to Kennedy for an easy tap-in, low, stick side. The penguins had a lot of jump early, forcing the Griffins to step it up. Grand Rapids tied it up just past the 12 minute mark of the period when Ryan Oulahen put a shot on net and Himelfarb crashed the crease, kicking the loose puck to his stick and jamming it home stick side. Himelfarb made it 2-1 six minutes later when he got the puck at the line and deked his way through three penguins before wristing a rocket past Deslauriers. Shots on Goal GR 11- WB 12.
The Penguins tied things up 5 minutes into the second when Kennedy got a breakaway, froze MacDonald, and ripped one midway, glove side. Grand Rapids stepped up and took control of the game, absolutely dominating the rest of the second period. Wilkes-Barre could not get anything going with a Griffins breaking up the play with a stick, blocked-shot, or thundering open-ice hit. Shots on Goal GR 16 - WB 4.
Ryan Oulahen scored a shorthanded goal early in the third to restore the Griffins' lead when he took a shot from the circle that hit a diving defenseman and found its way under Deslauriers. Wilkes-Barre threw everything they had at the Griffins net and after being rejected on several good chances, got the equalizer on a fluky play. Carkner launched a weak, knuckleball from the line that found it's way over Joey's shoulder for an ugly goal. Shots on Goal GR 9 - WB 12.
The penguins had a great chance to win in the OT when Norton took a penalty, and then Himelfarb went off to give WB a two-man advantage. Smith fell down in front on the PK, but recovered enough to block a shot by Schremp before hobbling off. Shots on Goal GR 2 - WB 2.
Kennedy was the first shooter for the Pens, and after a little move, MacDonald made a sprawling glove save. Keller for GR came in at an angle, did a shoulder fake and lefted it high stick side for a goal. Pouliot went next for WB firing a shot that MacDonald steered away with the stick. Langfeld was the second shooter for the Griffins and he made a deke and went top shelf to make it 2-0. Schremp was the third shooter, and he rang it off the post. Ericsson finished things up when he cut in from the side and blew it home 5-hole to give Grand Rapids the win.
Hussey - Ellis - Campbell
Langfeld - Miller - Keller
Oulahen - Himelfarb - Bootland
Radunske - Oulahen/Hussey - Brooks
Quincey - Meech
Smith - Syvret
Norton - Ericsson
Miller - Ellis - Keller/Langfeld
Quincey/Hussey - Ericsson
Langfeld/Oulahen - Campbell/Himelfarb - Bootland
Meech/Keller - Syvret
Langfeld - Ellis
Norton - Quincey
Hussey - Oulahen
Smith - Meech
Himelfarb - Miller
Himelfarb was flying tonight, and played another strong game. He had two goals, but could have easily ahd several more. He really moved the puck well on the PP later in the game, and he really had a lot of hustle.
Oulahen had several big hits, and has showed more intensity the last couple of games. Like his linemate Himelfarb, it was nice to see him rewarded with a goal and some powerplay time after a strong game.
I was really impressed with the re-emergence of Derek Meech's offensive game. While he didn't score, he really turned up the jets a couple of times, leading the rush and taking the puck deep.
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