The Streak is Over - Griffins Down Stars 4-1|
Record 10 Game Losing Streak Falls ...
By Jason Kasiorek
You knew it had to happen eventually, the law of averages said that the Griffins had to win a game on home ice at some point. Tonight was the night and the Iowa stars were the unlikely victims. The Griffins struck for three goals in the first, weathered the storm in the second and added a powerplay marker to seal a 4-1 win. Cullen and Corazzini each had a goal and an assist while Tardif and Stafford each added two assists. Jimmy Howard rebounded from a sub-par outing last time to record 30 saves for the win.
Grand Rapids had another strong start, pressuring the puck and generating scoring chances. Great work by Tardif to fight the puck in deep for Cullen who converted to give the Griffins a 1-0 lead. This also drew a deluge of Teddy Bears raining down on the ice in the teams annual charity promotion. Four minutes later Mattias Ritola scored his first AHL goal on a great feed by Cullen. Thirty seconds later Corazzini stripped the puck from an Iowa defender, streaked in and dished to Hartigan, who backhanded it over Sauve. That was all she wrote for Sauve who was promptly replaced by Stefan. Keefe dropped the gloves and pummeled Crombeen, playing to the crowd before going to the dressing room. A few minutes later, Ference went with Junior Lessard, but it was more of a grappling match than a fight. Shots on goal GR 9 - Iowa 8.
Polak put Iowa on the board just over a minute into the second, starting the usual Griffins second period melt down. This time however, Jimmy Howard came up big on some great scoring chances, and bought his team enough time to get back into the game. Corazzini capped off the scoring and gave his team a big lift, notching a powerplay marker at 6:13 of the second. Corazzini took a lead pass from Stafford, shot in on net, and fired a low screen shot that found its way through traffic to bulge the twine for his 7th of the season. Shots on goal GR 8 - Iowa 13.
The third period was more of the same, with the Griffin regaining momentum as the period went on. While not managing many offensive chances, Grand Rapids played strong defensively. In the closing minutes, Hartigan was whistled for a penalty, but the Griffins managed to kill it off. As time expired the crowd stood to give the team an ovation for slaying the dragon and finally getting into the win column. Shots on goal GR 3 - Iowa 10. For the game GR 20 - Iowa 31.
Oulahen - McGrath - Gelech
Helm - Hartigan - Corazzini
Ritola - Cullen - Tardif
Walsh - Oulahen/McGrath - Keefe
Galvin - Quincey
Ference - Stafford
Insana - Ericsson
Corazzini - Cullen - Ericsson
Hartigan - Stafford
Helm - McGrath - Tardif
Insana - Quincey
Tardif - Oulahen/Gelech
Ference - Ericsson
Insana - Quincey
Hartigan - Gelech
Ference looked feisty tonight and was pushing and shoving after the whistle several times.
Another great night for Tardif who set up several good scoring chances, and played super on the PK.
Mattias Ritola also had another strong game, finally getting his first goal.
Jimmy Howard played his best game since leaving for Detroit. He looked confident and made the timely stops.
Corazzini was on tonight, using his speed to pressure the slower Iowa defenseman.