Amerks Latest Victims of Franchise Best Start For GR
Griffins grit out 3-1 win over Rochester...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 7th, 2013
The Rochester Americans were the latest victims of the hot streak that has been the start of the Griffins' season. Winners of 7 straight, Grand Rapids took both games against the visiting Amerk's this weekend raising their winning percentage to an AHL best 78.3% (17-4-1-1) also the best start in Franchise history. David McIntyre netted the game-winner, while Teemu Pulkkinen and Jeff Hoggan also scored in the win. Netminder Petr Mrazek made 29 saves to record his ninth consecutive win.
Grand Rapids did not look like they had a lot of jump early in the period, resulting in a pretty even stretch with neither side having any sustained pressure. Callahan got boarded and stayed down for quite a bit before making his way to the bench. The Griffins were unable to capitalize on the resulting powerplay. Crawford picked up a rebound in the circle and stroked it past Mrazek stick-side, to open the scoring. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Roc 13.
Pulkkinen fought his way through two defenders and snapped a quick shot past Lieuwen for a powerplay marker to knot the game at one. The Griffins in control, doing a great job of cycling the puck and peppering Lieuwen with shots. The Amerks trying to hold on are just dumping the puck down the ice at every opportunity. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - Roc 7.
Hutchins had a breakaway but was fouled, resulting in a penalty shot that Mrazek handled easily. McIntyre gave the Griffins the lead early in the period when he walked into the slot, stutter-stepped and wristed a puck into the top of the net. Big scrum around the net with Tootoo in the middle as usual. Tootoo smoked Ruhwedel in the corner drawing some attention. Jurco absent from the bench in the third period, Ferraro taking his spot with Jarnkrok. A scoring attempt by Sheahan touches off another scrum. Eaves and Zigomanis jockeying for position in front of the net until they both get sent to the box. Zigomanis, back out of the box, chopped Tootoo's stick into pieces to set up a late Griffins powerplay. Glendening behind the net hit Hoggan Hoggan in front, and the captain sniped a quick shot in over Lieuwen for a 3-1 lead. The Amerks pulled the goalie off the next faceoff, but could not get any sustained pressure to score, and time ran out on a 3-1 Griffins win. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - Roc 10. For the Game: GR 33 - Roc 30.
Hoggan - Sheahan - Pulkkinen
Tootoo - Glendening - Callahan/Ferraro/Sheahan Jurco/Ferraro - Jarnkrok - Eaves
Nestrasil - McIntyre - Callahan
Evans - Sproul
Ouellet - Marchenko
Paetsch - Almquist
Eaves - Jarnkrok - Jurco
Paetsch/Marchenko - Almquist
Hoggan - Sheahan - Ferraro
Pulkkinen - Paetsch
Callahan/Sheahan - Glendening
Paetsch - Almquist
Sheahan/Jarnkrok - Ferraro
Evans - Marchenko
Marchenko had a great night defensively (-1 not withstanding). He really fueled the transition game and did a great job with his stick, poking pucks away and breaking up passes.
Mrazek looked very confident in the net and made some great stops.
Pulkkinen showed a lot of grit tonight. He went into the high traffic areas and fought through with the puck. He is showing improvement in his compete level and getting his nose dirty to get the puck to scoring position.
Tootoo was under the Amerks skin again, but sometimes he goes to far,and was lucky to not take a penalty. At this level his skills are good enough to play, and he would b better served without all of the sideshow antics.