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Aeros Ground Griffins 5-2
Griffins offense can't get untracked...
By Jason Kasiorek
January 27th, 2013

Grand Rapids lost a second straight game to visiting Houston Aeros on Saturday at Van Andel Arena by a final score of 5-2. The Griffins scored first on a goal by Chad Billins and then surrendered 4 straight before Riley Sheahan halted the rout with his 13th. Houston capped the scoring with a late empty netter to provide the final margin of victory. Rookie Petr Mrazek made 22 stops in the loss.

Grand Rapids opened the scoring early in the first when Billins at the line fired a low shot that founds its way into the net under Kuemper. Houston's Bulmer was hacking and whacking at Glendening trying to get him to drop the gloves. He eventually did and held his own for a few minutes until Bulmer got the sweater over his head and lit him up. To add insult to injury, Glendening got a game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down. Callahan batted a puck out of the air over Kuemper and looked to have given GR a 2-0 lead. The play was reviewed and the goal was called back. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - Hou 8.

The second period was pretty even and the Griffins had a great chance to extend their lead late in the period with an extended 5-on-3 powerplay, but could not cash in. Shorty after, Houston evened things up when Palmieri clinked a shot in off the post past Mrazek. The Griffins then found themselves in penalty trouble of their own with two skaters in the box. Charlie Coyle capitalized on the two-man advantage, beating Mrazek high to give the Aeros a 2-1 lead with less than a minute left in the period. Shots on Goal: GR 6 - Hou 11.

Coyle struck again less than a minute into the third, the offensive defenseman snuck up the gut, took a pass and cranked a shot Mrazek. Two minutes later, Mrazek went to the corner to play the puck but didn't get it out and had to scramble back to make a save. McIntyre picked up the rebound on the doorstep and buried it for the Aeros fourth straight goal. Coach Blashill made a gutsy call midway through the third when he pulled Mrazek to turn a powerplay into a 6-on-4. Tatar made a diving play to keep the puck in and get it to Ferraro at the point. Ferraro drifted in and put a shot on net that Sheahan got a stick on and tipped past Kuemper for a powerplay marker. Jurco with some jaw-dropping moves carried the puck through the Houston defense and to the net, but no one was open to convert. Mrazek went to the bench again for a few plays with 6 minutes on the clock. Blashill summoned Mrazek a third time at 3:48, but the Aeros hit the empty net and capped the scoring on a 5-2 win. Shots on Goal: GR 20 - Hou 8. For the Game: GR 35 - Hou 27.

Ferraro - Andersson - Nyquist
Grant - Raedeke - Jurco
Tatar - Sheahan - Pare
Hoggan - Glendening - Callahan
Jurco -Sheahan- Callahan

#3 Mark Mitera - Fournier
Paetsch - Almquist
Billins - Evans

Starter: Mrazek
Backup: Pearce

Aubry - Suspended
Nicastro - injured

Nyquist - Andersson - Pare/Tatar
Almquist - Tatar/Billins/Ferraro

Ferraro/Jurco - Sheahan - Pare
Paetsch - Fournier/Billins

Ferraro - Sheahan
Billins - Paetsch

Ferraro - Andersson
Almquist - Paetsch

Sheahan - Callahan
Evans - Mitera


A few small things in the loss. Someone must have gotten Billins some contacts, because after weeks of watching him miss the net by a country mile on his point shots, he found the range tonight. His low, hard shot found the back of the net once, and was on target for a whopping 7 shots on goal. If he can start hitting the net consistently he could make up for Smith's absence on the powerplay.

Callahan played with a lot of energy and confidence, motoring around creating havoc. What a dramatic change in his play over the last several weeks.

Riley Sheahan continues to rack up points and has become one of the teams most dangerous players. His ability to kill penalties and excel defensively make him a double threat.

Official Game Sheet