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Griffins Gain Revenge Over Rampage 4-2
Frankie Pare breaks goose egg with penalty shot...
By Jason Kasiorek

The Griffins had a lot of reasons to want a little revenge against the visiting San Antonio Rampage, 14 of them to be exact. The Griffins suffered a pair of losses to the Rampage earlier in the season and gave up 7 goals in each, since then the team has fallen on hard times, resulting in the firing of their coach, ex-griffins bench boss Greg Ireland. Frankie Pare broke a 21 game scoring drought scoring his first of the season on a penalty shot, and Daniel Larsson made 31 saves for his 10th win of the season. Kris Newbury, Jeremy Williams and Jan Mursak also scored for Grand Rapids in the win.

Sullivan picked off a Griffins clearing attempt and went in alone on Larsson but was stoned. The first ten minutes was all in GR's end, the Griffins unable to keep the puck out or mount any pressure on San Antonio. Great Griffins penalty kills, including a 5-on-3 for a too many men on the ice penalty, as GR killed off four straight. Ugly first period with little jump or energy, San Antonio using it's speed to move the puck deep into Grand Rapids territory. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - San 12.

The period started with a shorthanded breakaway by Newbury, he had two good shots but couldn't get it around Tjordman's leg. Tardif had another good chance shorthanded midway through, he kept jamming at it in front until it went in. The goal was blown dead after it was in the net as the official said it was covered and he intended to blow it earlier. Tatar had a nice chance but was pulled down from behind with no call. Pare was hauled down on a breakaway and finally the official had to call something - a penalty shot. Pare streaked in and got the goalie moving to the side, sliding the puck under him between his legs for his first goal of the season. After the goal the hitting and physical play began to pick up. Rissmiller got the puck in the corner and passed out through the crease and right to Williams in front who buried it for a 2-0 lead. Crosty and Lessard nodded at each other and dropped the gloves and helmets. Crosty stung him with a punch early, but it was more of a grappling match until Lessard wrestled Crosty to the ice. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - San 8.

Grand Rapids in penalty trouble again early, Kindl fired the puck over the glass on a clearing attempt, setting up a 5-on-3. Porter cashed in just as the first penalty was about to expire, chipping the puck over Larsson on the doorstep to break the shutout bid. Pyett fanned on a great opportunity in front. Finally a Grand Rapids powerplay, 49 minutes into the game. It even turned into a 5-on-3 for over a minute after Ritola was hooked down. The result was no shots in three minutes, brutal. Ritola gained the zone and fed it cross ice to Newbury who flicked a wrister just under the crossbar to restore the two goal lead. San Antonio kept it close, with 3:07 left MacLean ripped a shot from the slide that got behind Larsson, low glove-side. Tjordman to the bench for the extra attacker with about 1:20 on the clock. Pare cleared the puck to a streaking Mursak who hit the empty net for his 7th of the season and a 4-2 win. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - San 13. For the Game: GR 28 - San 33.

Ritola - Newbury - Tardif
Tatar - Rismiller - Williams
Emmerton - Pare - Mursak
Axelsson/Vigilante - McGrath - Vigilante/Williams

Kolosov - Janik
Kindl - Delmore
Crosty - Pyett

Starter: Larsson
Backup: McCollum


Ritola - Newbury - Tardif
Williams - Kindl

Tatar - Rissmiller - Mursak
Janik - Delmore

Rissmiller - Mursak
Kolosov - Janik

Ritola - Newbury
Kindl - Delmore

Emmerton - Pare

Three Stars:
3 Porter - San
2 Newbury - GR
1 Pare - GR


Good bounce back after a brutal first period, especially in the face of some pretty awful officiating.

I spent a lot of time watching Tatar tonight, and am amazed at how quickly he is improving and becoming a force for this team. Besides his speed and nose for the net, I noticed tonight that he was winning all of the little battles along the boards, fighting for possession and then coming out of the scrums with the puck. His next step will be to convert some of his hard work into more scoring chances and shots on goal. He is still dishing off to Williams and Rissmiller, and has a good enough shot to where he should use it more.

Another strong game by the usual suspects, Mursak, Larsson, Tardif and Kolosov to name a few.

Axelsson was missing from the bench later in the game. I didn't see him get hurt, but this isn't the first time this has happened with him lately.

Official Game Sheet