Griffins Hold Off Hamilton in 4-2 Win

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 4: Ty Conklin #29 of the Detroit Red Wings warms up before a NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on December 2, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

By Jason Kasiorek
www.griffinscentral.com
January 22nd, 2012

Ty Conklin picked up his first AHL win of the season, but didn't have much work until the second half of the game. The Griffins held Hamilton to one shot on goal during the first period and jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Hamilton scored a pair of late goals to make it interesting, but the Griffins were in control most of the game. Nyquist (17), Smith (10) and Conner (10) scored for GR which won for just the third time this month. Conklin made 22 saves in his first AHL appearance in 5 seasons.


Good aggressive start by Grand Rapids. On the powerplay, Smith drifted into the slot with the puck and then hit Nyquist in the circle for a quick shot that beat Mayer glove side. The Bulldogs got their first shot of the game 18 minutes into the period. Nyquist intercepted a pass from Andersson and shot down the ice with Conner on a 2-on-1. The slick Swedish playmaker hit Conner with a perfect pass that was redirected into the net. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Ham 1.



Nyquist in the corner fed Smith in the high slot, and he wristed a quick shot past Mayer high stick side for a 3-0 lead. Exelby wiped out Slaney with a hip check, setting off a scrum in the corner. Pare had a decent chance that Mayer stopped, but Henry roughed him up after the play. Hamilton finally scored late in the period when Nattinen had a point blank chance on Conklin and banged it past him glove side. Raedeke went to the box for boarding, shortly followed by Lashoff to set up a 5-on-3. It only took a few seconds for the Bulldogs to make it 3-2 on a goal from Geoffrion. Shots on Goal: GR 17 - Ham 14.

Grand Rapids killed off a late powerplay in the third to hold off Hamilton. Mayer went to the bench with a minute left for the extra attacker to try and even things up. Tomas Tatar stole the puck at center ice and notched an empty netter to put it away. Shots on goal: GR 13 - Ham 9. For the Game: GR 45 - Ham 24.

Lines:
Nyquist - Andersson - Brunnstrom
Tatar - Johnson - Minard
Conner - Raedeke - Pare
Parkes - Aubry - Callahan

Pairings:
Janik - Pyett
Lashoff - Smith
Exelby - Ehrhardt

Starter: #1 Conklin
Backup: McCollum

Scratches:
Landon Ferraro
Willie Coetzee


PP:
Tatar - Johnson - Minard
Janik - Pyett

Nyquist - Andersson - Brunnstrom
Lashoff - Smith


PK:
Conner - Raedeke/Nyquist
Lashoff/Ehrhardt - Exelby

Tatar - Pare
Janik - Pyett

Brunnstrom - Andersson

Observations:

The top line of Nyquist - Andersson - Brunnstrom was on fire all game. They were buzzing around making incredible passing plays and dazzling the Bulldogs with skill and speed. Brunnstrom had 7 shots and used his strength to muscle the puck into the zone a couple of times.

Brendan Smith
was the triggerman tonight and was set up for a ton of scoring chances. He had several shots blocked, but still was credited with five.

Tomas Tatar was energized and on top of his game. He was banging and forechecking with abandon.

The fourth line with Aubry, Callahan and Parkes had some great shifts late in the game keeping the puck deep in the Hamilton zone.

Minard was around the net shooting every puck he could get a stick on, but just couldn't get one of his 8 shots past Mayer.

Official Game Sheet

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