The last time the Griffins played the Rochester Americans they beat them 8-1 in the season opener. In that game the Americans decided that since the Griffins were beating them on the scoreboard, they'd play a little dirty and go after the players on the ice. Some things don't change. The game started out slowly with the Amerks (what is an Amerk, anyway?) getting on the board first with a power play goal. That was the only goal Petr Mrazek allowed all night, and the Griffins would hog the rest of the goals for themselves. The Griffins' depth was once again on display, as they got goals from three different lines and 4 different players, and the 4th line would have had a goal had Callahan's goal not erroneously been waived off for incidental goaltender contact. The Griffins also showed a lot of discipline and focus in during the game, because while the Americans were determined to get under their skin, taunted them, and let their frustration show, the Griffins players kept their cool and focused on playing hockey. All night the Amerks were trying to get Tootoo to fight, but it wasn't Jordin who dropped the gloves in the 2nd period to fight Frederick Roy (son of Patrick Roy), it was landon Ferraro who finally obliged and dropped the gloves. Ferraro scored 2 goals in the game, fought Roy, and got a shaving cream pie to the face from Tom McCollum in honor of his fight.
Nick Jensen looked very good in his AHL debut. After making his professional debut in 3 games with the Toledo Walleye, Jensen played his first game with the Griffins last night and didn't look out of place at all. He's incredibly mobile, is a fantastic skater, and he's very good at using his stick to get it into shooting lanes, pike the puck away from opposing players, is positional sound, and communicates on the ice very well with his teammates.
Riley Sheahan looks noticeably bigger, both taller and bulkier, his skating is better, and he's faster than he was even at the star of the season. He looks more matured and NHL ready than he did even at the beginning of the season and he played very well. I mentioned in an earlier post that I really didn't know what to make of Sheahan yet, but he's really developed into a solid 2-way center, and you really have to watch him play to appreciate what he does. Riley is looking good.
Tomas Jurco is very good at hockey and is quickly becoming too good for the AHL. He can do everything, and do it well and when the other team tries to take physical liberties with him, he can take care of himself and has that edge to his game that will be a great asset in the NHL. Tomas Jurco is good at hockey.. the understatement of the year.
Mitch Callahan showed a lot of discipline when the Americans players went after him and tried to get him to fight or take a penalty. Mitch kept his cool and even earned bonus points from me in the last minute of the 3rd period when Callyhands did something that made the entire crowd stand up and cheer. The Americans were going after Jordin Tootoo all night, jawing at him, running him, pushing and shoving, and even throwing him into their own goalie. On that particular play, Tootoo was thrown awkwardly into the Amerks goalie and just barely missed smashing his head on the crossbar on his way down. There were several times when the Amerks were trying to get Tootoo to fight at the end of his shift, but Tootoo kept his cool and didn't humor any of the would be punching dummies. Tootoo visibly held up from obliterating Amerk players with hits, but he did have this nice open ice hit. The Amerks goalie decided to get in on the action by taunting Tootoo, jawing at him, and even spitting water at him as he skated by. Tootoo finally gave in and with about a minute and a half to go in the game and the Griffins up by 4 goals, he skated up to the goalie and gave him a snow shower. It was after the whistle, and the goalie had already stood up, but Tootoo got an unsportsmanlike penalty and spent the rest of the game in the box. The Amerk goalie wasn't done jawing though, even after Tootoo was in the box, and he was yelling something at Callahan. The goalie was in the crease, and Mitch was just outside the Amerk's blue line. The referee was ushering Callahan over to the Griffins bench when Mitch turned around to face Matt Hackett, said a few words, and pointed up to the scoreboard. We all stood up, applauded, and cheered. It was amazing! Callahan also had a goal waived off for a bogus incidental goalie contact call. The only two players in Hackett's crease, were his own players. That goal should have been called a good goal, and it would have been a Mitch Callahan tip in goal from a Nick Jensen shot.
Tonight is a rematch against the Americans, and it should be a very exciting game. The baby boofalo's will likely resort to goonery, but the Griffins can beat them on the scoreboard where it counts, or with their fists is need be.
Official site of the Grand Rapids Griffins: Recap 12.6.13
UNHAPPY RETURNS FOR ELLIS AND TARDIF AS GRIFFINS ROLL
TheAHL.com Griffins vs Americans 12.6.13
Full Box Score
Landon Ferraro gives a face full on the ice, then gets one off it as Griffins continue hot streak | MLive.com
Two goals help last year's leading scorer end drought as Griffins win sixth in a row. 12.6.13
Patrick Eaves great goal from the tape to tape pass from Tomas Jurco - YouTube
12.6.13 vs Rochester Americans (Sabres Farm Team)