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Barons Burn Griffins with Late Rally For 4-3 Win
Game seven looms after last minute stunner...
By Jason Kasiorek
June 5th, 2013

The Griffins were two minutes and twenty-seven seconds away from a trip to the AHL finals, but cinderella will be late for the ball. The Oklahoma City Barons were not ready for golf season and scored two quick goals to stun the Grand Rapids crowd and force a game seven to determine who advances. Tomas Jurco (6), Mitch Callahan (4) and Jeff Hoggan (4) scored for Grand Rapids, with Jurco also missing on a rare penalty shot attempt. Petr Mrazek saw his two game shutout streak end, and made 26 save in absorbing the loss.

Andersson followed up the play and had a couple of whacks at the loose puck, drawing a crowd. Rajala got behind the defense and fired the puck right into Mrazek's midsection. The Penalty killing came up huge again as the Baron's could not gain the zone with possession. Eager crashed the crease and knocked over Mrazek with no call, but a lot of angry Griffins. Glendening got knocked into Danis by an OKC defenseman and was sent to the box. Another weak call set up a Baron's 5-on-3 powerplay. After several blocked shots, Arcobello picked a corner and wired the puck into the net behind Mrazek. Late in the period, the Griffins finally get a powerplay, and a few seconds in Arcobello high sticked Paetsch, leading to a GR 5-on-3. Jurco put the Griffins on the board with his 6th of the playoffs, tipping in a shot from Paetsch for a powerplay goal. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - OKC 9.

Callahan gave Grand Rapids the lead four and a half minutes in to the second, when he snuck down the wing and sniped a wrist shot from the circle that beat Danis. Jurco and Nyquist making magic for long stretched of the period, working the dangle, with the Barons standing around watching. Callahan doing a great job on the forecheck forcing turnovers and taking away time. Hoggan rifled a shot from the left circle that cleanly beat Danis stick-side for a commanding 3-1 lead. The Griffins had a big flurry of shots right at the end of the period, and have dominated in the second. Shots on Goal: GR 16 - OKC 10.

Tatar almost made it 4-1 when he beat Danis but rang the puck off the post and the crossbar before it went harmlessly into the corner. Arcobello tried to clear the puck but fell down, setting up another quality scoring chance. The Barons captain made up for it midway through the third when he fired a low shot from the slot that got by Mrazek to cut the margin to one. Jurco was taken down on a scoring chance and awarded a penalty shot. The puck-handling wizard cut back and forth slowed and fired a shot into Danis' pad for an easy save. You could really feel momentum shift at this point as the Griffins seemed to be content to sit on their lead as time ran out. with about 2 and a half minutes remaining Rajala pounced on a bad bounce off the endboards and slipped a shot past Mrazek to knot the score at 3. Lander capped the OKC rally with just over a minute left when he redirected a pass from Jones that bounced in past Mrazek for the game winner. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - OKC 11. For the Game: GR 36 - OKC 30.

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

Evans - Billins
Paetsch - Almquist
Lashoff - Skinner

Starter: Mrazek
Backup: McCollum


Pare - Ferraro - Jurco
Skinner - Billins

Nyquist - Andersson - Tatar
Paetsch - Almquist

Andersson/Sheahan - Ferraro
Paetsch - Almquist

Sheahan/Mursak - Glendening
Evans - Lashoff


The Griffins will have to dig deep and put this behind them to win game 7. You could feel the team take their foot off the gas in the third period with a 3-1 lead and they let OKC back into it. The two late goals were like a punch to the gut and very deflating. There were a lot of what ifs in this one, but the Griffins dominated play for most of the game and need to bear down and have the killer instinct to finish off OKC.

The good:
Callahan had a great game. He sacrificed his body to block shots, was a force on the forecheck, and was chirping at the Barons after the play. He scored a nice goal, and put on a nice show for Mike Babcock and friends, watching the game above section 221.

Tomas Jurco, played with a lot of confidence, and with a physical edge. If he could have cashed in on that penalty shot, last nights game may have ended differently.

Nathan Paetsch was involved at both ends and was flying around on his skates making things happen.

Ferraro was incredible, especially on the penalty kill. I lost count of the number of shots he blocked or stole and then took up ice.

The Bad:
Frankie Pare at times had a hard time clearing the zone, and was rushed into a couple of bad decisions with the puck. Enough said about where his goals have gone.

After being pretty disciplined during the regular season, Grant has had a propensity for taking penalties by himself the last few games. His roughing minor last night started the team's parade to the box.

The Ugly:
Start with Tomas Tatar's minus 3 and that the Griffins top line was on the ice for all three late OKC goals. Not a great indictment of the their play along with no offense last night.

Official Game Sheet