Griffins Stun Marlies With Shootout Win

Brendan Smith - Jason "Stripe" Kasiorek

The battle of Division leaders was a close as you would expect as the two teams battled back and forth before deciding the game in a shootout. The Griffins rallied back from an early deficit on goals from Smith (5) and Sheahan (7) before surrendering a controversial penalty shot goal. Gustav Nyquist and Frankie Pare provided the margin of victory in the shootout and Petr Mrazek picked up his 10th win of the season.

Griffins Stun Marlies With Shootout Win
GR overcomes late penalty goal for 3-2 win...
By Jason Kasiorek
www.griffinscentral.com
December 22nd, 2012

The battle of Division leaders was a close as you would expect as the two teams battled back and forth before deciding the game in a shootout. The Griffins rallied back from an early deficit on goals from Smith (5) and Sheahan (7) before surrendering a controversial penalty shot goal. Gustav Nyquist and Frankie Pare provided the margin of victory in the shootout and Petr Mrazek picked up his 10th win of the season.

The first period was all Toronto as they really controlled play and used their size to box out the Griffins. It was no surprise they got on the board first, on a goal by Acton. The speedy Marlies forward carried the puck behind the defense, cut towards the net and fired a shot by Mrazek stick side. Shots on Goal: GR 4 - Tor 8.

The Griffins stepped things up in the second especially in the first half of the period, had Toronto back on its heels with their speed. Great pressure on a powerplay midway through the period with the Griffins getting several good scoring chances. Smith got the puck in the low slot and fired a shot that found its way through traffic and behind Scrivens to knot the game at one. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - Tor 9.

Paetsch carried the puck into the corner with one arm while fighting off a Marlies defender and centered it. Sheahan shot through the slot and chipped it in under the crossbar for a powerplay goal and a 2-1 lead. That held up for about five minutes until the Marlies Frattin got a breakaway and was taken down on the follow through as the defenseman tried to sweep the puck away. A penalty shot was called for and Frattin didn't miss, streaking in on goal and firing a shot under the crossbar to tie the game again. The Griffins wilted after the penalty shot goal and had a hard time regaining their composure. Blashill also shortened the bench and the top two lines were double-shifted, which would lead to problems later. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Tor 9.

Abbot smoked Mrazek, knocking his head into the post and his mask off. Smith showed restraint in just sitting on him, and not laying a beat down on him, but they still both ended up in the box. The overtime was dominated by the Marlies as the Griffins looked gassed, and the big guns were ineffective due to playing too much. The team was lucky to escape into the shootout. Shots on Goal: GR 1 - Tor 2. For the Game: GR 27 - Tor 28.

The Shootout:
Sheahan went first for the Griffins, made a nice move, froze Scrivens and just couldn't lift it over his leg pad and into the net. Hamilton went for Toronto and rang a shot off Mrazek's chest to keep it scoreless. Smith started the second round, flying on on Scrivens, who poked the puck away before the shot. Kostka tried to deke and go stick side, but Mrazek stayed with him and made the save. Nyquist was the third shooter for GR and he got the corwd out of their seats with his spin-o-rama move opening up the whole net for an easy tap in. Frattin hit the post in his attempt giving GR a 1-0 lead. Almquist rang a shot off Scrivens mask, and then Colborne evened things up when he got Mrazek's feet moving and slipped the puck five hole. Frankie Pare returned the favor in round five with a five hole goal of his own, and then Mrazek got the win when Abbot's attempt rolled off his stick as he shot it.

Lines:
Tatar - Andersson - Nyquist
Pare - Sheahan - Ferraro
Hoggan - Aubry - Parkes
Grant - Glendening - Callahan

Pairings:
Evans - Billins
Paetsch - Smith
Almquist - Lashoff

Starter: Mrazek
Backup: McCollum

Scratches:
Jurco
Fournier

PP:
Tatar - Andersson - Nyquist
Smith - Billins

Pare - Sheahan - Ferraro
Paetsch - Almquist


PK:
Ferraro - Andersson
Paetsch - Smith

Andersson - Callahan
Almquist - Evans

Sheahan - Ferraro

Glendening - Nyquist

Observations:

The defense in particular had a strong night. Smith was very involved, and Almquist battled all night. Evans has really found his groove and is so steady. He has quietly gone +10 in the last nine games and has helped Billins tremendously.

Count me not a fan of Ferraro on the wing. I was happy to see his strong play rewarded with some time with Sheahan and Pare, but he was not nearly as effective on the wing as he is at center. In general the decision to sit Jurco really changed the complexion of the team . With Ferraro moving up from 3rd line center, that left Hoggan, Aubry and Parkes as the third line. While I am a fan of Aubry and Parkes, the move really makes us a two offensive line team instead of normally having three lines that can score.

Nyquist continues to be mired in an offensive slump, but was very involved defensively, taking pucks away.

I continue to marvel at Sheahan's ability to get open and be in the right place at the right time. For a kid that didn't score much in college, he has a little Brett Hull in him.



Official Game Sheet

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