Revenge Is Sweet In Griffins 5-2 Win Over Checkers

Mitch Callahan and Jeff Hoggan - Jason "stripe" Kasiorek

After being embarrassed on home ice last Friday with a 5-0 whitewash by the visiting Charlotte Checkers, the Griffins were hoping to write a happier ending this time around. What a story they wrote, scoring 5 goals of their own to ruin Rick DiPietro's debut and crush the visiting Checkers. Grand Rapids went 2-for-3 with the man advantage and killed off 7 of 8 Charlotte powerplay's. Nyquist (2), Callahan, Sproul and Jurco scored for the Griffins in their first home win of the season. Petr Mrazek, pulled in the last meeting between these two clubs, made 28 saves for his second win of the campaign.

Revenge Is Sweet In Griffins 5-2 Win Over Checkers
Griffins pick up first home win of the season...
By Jason Kasiorek
www.griffinscentral.com
October 30, 2013

After being embarrassed on home ice last Friday with a 5-0 whitewash by the visiting Charlotte Checkers, the Griffins were hoping to write a happier ending this time around. What a story they wrote, scoring 5 goals of their own to ruin Rick DiPietro's debut and crush the visiting Checkers. Grand Rapids went 2-for-3 with the man advantage and killed off 7 of 8 Charlotte powerplay's. Nyquist (2), Callahan, Sproul and Jurco scored for the Griffins in their first home win of the season. Petr Mrazek, pulled in the last meeting between these two clubs, made 28 saves for his second win of the campaign. 

GR had a super penalty-kill midway through the period, lots of blocked shots. Hoggan was assessed a four minute high sticking penalty on what looked like an elbow to Biega. The Checkers took a 1-0 lead on the ensuing powerplay with Palushaj cashing in on a nice second effort chance in front. The Griffins quickly got it back on a sick backhand centering pass through traffic by Jurco to Nyquist in front. Nyquist stroked it home to knot the score at one. The Griffins in penalty trouble, sending a steady stream of players to the box. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Cha 9. 

Great shift by Callahan, lots of hard work around the net to keep the play alive and create chances. The gritty winger was rewarded with his third goal of the season when he took up position in front of DiPietro and tipped in Evans' point shot for a 2-1 lead. Sproul made it 3-1 on the powerplay, when he fired a rocket from the line that bulged the twine behind DiPietro. Ferraro almost scored a shorty on a partial break but was interfered with enough to not get off a good shot. Frk with the puck in the slot faked twice and then fired the puck into DiPietro. Grand Rapids really picked up the pace in the second and took the play to Charlotte. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - Cha 12. 

Ferraro doing a good job of using his speed to get behind the Checkers and create scoring chances. Jurco in Frk's spot for a couple of shifts is creating magic with Ferraro. Jurco came off the bench on the power play, streaked into the zone, took a pass from Almquist and knuckled a shot past DiPietro. Mrazek to the bench for an equipment repair, and McCollum enters the game. A few minutes later, Mrazek returns to action. Rask pulled the Checkers within two, late in the third, when he lifted a shot over Mrazek's shoulder from the top of the circle. Charlotte tried in vain to get the goalie to the bench for a couple of minutes, but the Griffins kept the puck in their end. Finally with just over a minute to go, DiPietro got to the bench for the extra attacker. Jurco hit Nyquist who went in and scored the empty netter to seal a 5-2 win. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - Cha 9. For the Game: GR 30 - Cha 30. 

Lines:
Nyquist - Jarnkrok - Jurco
Hoggan - Emmerton - Pulkkinen
Ferraro - Sheahan - Frk/Jurco
Grant - Nestrasil - Callahan 

Pairings:
Paetsch - Almquist
Ouellet - Marchenko
Evans - Sproul

Starter: Mrazek
Backup: McCollum

Scratches:
McIntyre
Aubry
Fournier

PP:
Nyquist - Jarnkrok - Jurco
Almquist - Ferraro

Hoggan - Emmerton - Pulkkinen
Paetsch - Sproul


PK:
Emmerton - Callahan/Nestrasil
Evans - Marchenko

Sheahan - Ferraro
Paetsch - Almquist

Observations:

Lots of guys going good tonight in the win. The Griffins were really rolling from the second period on, using their speed and passing to stretch the Charlotte defense and get behind them for chances at DiPietro.

Mitch Callahan had a great night, working hard and buzzing around the net all game. He really frustrated the checkers with his anticipation, stealing the puck and pressuring the net. He was rewarded for his strong play with a goal.

Tomas Jurco was on his game as well. He just brings it so many different ways, weaving in and out of players with possession, using his size to knock the puck free, and tonight showing off some pretty impressive foot speed to keep up with Ferraro. At times he was controlling the play and no one could take the puck away.

Sproul scored his goal with quick heavy shot from the line. It looked like it was in the net before we heard the sound, and it certainly looked like it surprised several players from Charlotte.

Frk did not have a good game, he got very little ice time and managed to take two penalties. Coach won't be happy with that, and along with his unproductive play, may lead to a night off.


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