Parse and Howard Lead the Way Over Wolves In Overtime 2-1|
Ace Netminder comes up big in win...
By Jason Kasiorek
Second year netminder Jimmy Howard slammed the door on the leagues number one offense, only allowing one goal on 39 shots, and Scott Parse was the offensive catalyst to lead the Griffins over long time rival Chicago. Parse, playing in just his thrid pro game, scored the Griffins first goal, and set up the gamewinner in overtime with a nice pass. Derek Meech had two assists for Grand Rapids who played without Danny Syvret and Kyle Quincey who were recalled to their respective NHL teams this morning.
Grand Rapids could not get much going early except turning over the puck to the wolves, but Jimmy stood tall and kept them in the game. Popovic broke the deadlock halfway through the first when he walked around Himelfarb and cut in on net. He made a good move and slipped the puck under a scrambling Howard's leg. Despite the closeness in shots on goal, Chicago has been the more dangerous of the two teams. Late in the period Howard made an incredible diving save to take away an empty net goal. Jimmy had a nother close call with 2:20 left on the clock when he made a juggling stop and had the puck fall on the line and go in. The ref called it off becaus eof the players in the crease and the Griffins dodge another bullet. The Griffins were outplayed by the Wolves and had better cut down on the turnovers in the second. Shots on goal GR 9 - Chi 12.
The second period saw more chippy play and a string of penalties for both teams. Grand Rapids played much better and carried the play for most of the period. Shots on goal: GR 15 - Chi 10.
Parse scored his first career pro goal early in the third to tie the game at one. He won a battle in the corner and then got it back in front where he ripped it high while falling on his back. This seemed to ignite the Griffins as they really started to attack. It looked like they scored again a minute later, but it was waived off. Chicago is trying to turn up the intensity to match Grand Rapids. Another ugly turnover by Norton, but Howard came up big again. The Wolves can't gain the Griffins zone with possession, the GR forecheck is working hard. Oulahen penalty late in the third, but the penalty killers did a great job to kill it. Big scrum breaks out in the corner with Dan Smith taking exception to a hit, and the teams go to 4-on-4. Great chance by Ellis and then by Parse but couldn't score. Wolves with a too many men on the ice penalty with a minute left to set up the GR powerplay. Shots on goal GR 13 - Chi 15.
Bootland stole the puck at the line and made a couple of moves to beat the defense for a point blank opportunity but just shot it wide. Miller sprung Meech for a good chance and he was hooked down setting up another powerplay. Miller on the PP takes a pass from Parse in the slot and wrists it back up the middle and beat Garnett five-hole fro the game-winner. Shots on goal GR 1 - Chi 0.
Campbell - Ellis - Parse
Miller - Oulahen - Hussey
Bootland - Himelfarb - Tardif
Voce - McGrath - Himelfarb/Bootland/Campbell
Insana - Ericsson
Norton - Meech
Galvin - Smith
Campbell - Ellis - Tardif
Miller - Parse
Bootland - McGrath - Himelfarb
Hussey - Meech
Oulahen - Ellis
Smith - Insana
Himelfarb - Bootland
Norton - Meech
Keefe - Injured hand
Simon - Injured Shoulder
Another big night for Scott Parse who seems to look better each game. GI has a lot of confidence in him, and he plays in all situations, especially late in the game.
The Grand Rapids defense came up big all night and the increased mobility with Galvin and Insana in the lineup was very noticeable. The D did a great time of fueling the Griffins counterattack, especially in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Even the often maligned Brad Norton did a good job of getting the puck up ice. Insana was very noticeable and played maybe one of his best games in the AHL.
Howard really looked on top of his game, standing up to the shot and not scrambling around on his knees so much. He was a difference maker early in this game.
Ellis, Oulahen, Himelfarb, and Bootland were incredible on the penalty kill, and really seemed to be "on" tonight.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.