Griffins Rally Past Marlies for 4-1 Win|
Ferraro's game-winner gives Griffins 3-1 series lead...
By Jason Kasiorek
May 17th, 2013
The Marlies got the first goal of the game on a shot that Petr Mrazek would probably like back. The rookie netminder would not let another puck past him and out-dueled Griffins nemesis Drew MacIntyre for a 4-1 win and a 3-1 series lead. Landon Ferraro and Tomas Jurco each added a goal and an assist in the win, while captain Jeff Hoggan and Jan Mursak added empty net goals to seal the win. Grand Rapids put 36 shots on the Marlies net, while Mrazek stopped 17 of 18 for the win.
Tatar had a great chance right off the faceoff, sneaking a shot through to MacIntyre. Callahan getting the physical game started early with a big hit in the Marlies zone. Big scrum in the corner on the Marlies powerplay, lots of animosity. Pulkkinen and Grant had an effective shift keeping the puck deep and creating chances. Hoggan found some room to take the puck to the net, but couldn't get a shot off. Ranger ripped a shot, back door, that beat Mrazek but hit the post and stayed out. Toronto taking bad penalties, showing their frustration, and setting up a Griffins 5-on-3 powerplay. Mrazek gave up a softy from the corner that got between him and the post on a bad angle shot from Ashton. Lots of pushing and shoving at the end of the period. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - Tor 4.
The 2nd period started out chippy. Great setup by Glendening, Jurco followed Tatar to the net on the powerplay and ripped a shot off his back foot that beat MacIntyre low to tie the game at one. Yeo boarded Grant, stunning the Griffins enforcer and setting up a GR powerplay. Glendening had a poke at a loose puck in the crease and was attacked, setting off a big scrum. The Griffins really took it to MacIntyre with a flurry of shots towards the end of the period. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Tor 8.
Mursak set up Hoggan on the doorstep, but he ripped a shot right into MacIntyre. MacIntyre seeing a lot of rubber as the Griffins have a shooting gallery going on. Ferraro beat MacIntyre to a loose puck behind the net to set up the game winner. The speedy center stayed behind the net and had a couple of tries before a lucky bounce off Yeo found its way into the net to give the Griffins their first lead of the game. Incredible pace to the last 10 minutes. MacIntyre was summoned to the bench with 1:32 on the clock for the extra attacker. Paetsch blocked a shot and the puck bounced to Ferraro who hit Hoggan for a breakaway. Hoggan was taken down, but still managaed to score into the empty net while sliding down the ice on his stomach. Mursak added another empty netter 17 seconds later to cap the win. In the closing seconds, Toronto had a breakaway, and knocked Mrazek into the net with the puck under him. The goal light came on, but it was reviewed and called no goal. Grand Rapids held on for a 4-1 come form behind victory to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - Tor 6. For the Game: GR 36 - Tor 18.
Hoggan - Glendening - Mursak/Jurco
Jurco - Ferraro - Callahan
Tatar - Sheahan - Pare
Grant - Aubry - Pulkkinen
Paetsch - Almquist
Skinner - Lashoff
Evans - Billins
Jurco - Glendening - Tatar
Skinner - Billins
Hoggan - Ferraro - Pare
Almquist - Paetsch
Glendening/Mursak - Callahan/Aubry
Evans - Lashoff
Ferraro - Sheahan
Almquist - Paetsch
Great game! Lots of excitement and intensity as the crowd was on the edge of their seats all night. The Griffins played their game all night and never got frustrated or changed their plan. The only time they looked a little back on their heels was after the Marlies goal, but they quickly regrouped.
I can't say enough about the leadership on this team, captain Hoggan led by example tonight and just kept pressing the Marlies net. He must have skated 100 miles as he went end to end so many times. the team really seemed to feed off him, as he was relentless in his puck pursuit and control.
Add normal quotes about Jurco and his stellar play, only tonight he ended up on the scoresheet a nice reward for his play this playoff series. There are shifts he looks like Pavel Datysuk and other where he is Cam Neely, barreling into opponents and knocking them down on his way to the net. He has all the tools in his toolbox. He even sacrificed the body late in the game to dive in front of a point shot to make sure it didn't get on net.
Callahan played a good game, bring a physical presence and showing off some skill. He stole the puck a couple of times and made some incredible moves to walk around players to set up a chance. He seems to have some chemistry when playing with Ferraro and Jurco and it is no coincidence this line has played so well after he was added to it.
I also have to give a shout out to Nathan Paetsch. The veteran defender played a great game, blocking shots, getting in the way and sending the puck up ice. He was really at the top of his game tonight.