The Griffins found themselves in a 2-0 hole at the end of the first period to the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs. Captain Jeff Hoggan led his team's comeback rally scoring a goal and an assist with 5 shots to tie the game twice before forcing overtime. Trevor Parkes scored a shorthanded goal, and Frankie Pare, a notorious slow starter added his first of the season for Grand Rapids. Netminder Thomas McCollum looked shaky early, but made 33 saves in his first start of the season to keep his team in the game. Stortini tried to start something with Aubry and ended up in the box, setting up a Griffin's powerplay. When he left the box, Grant knocked him down with a big open ice hit, which is probably to be continued later. A big scrum broke out in front of the penalty box with Callahan and Evans right in the middle of it. Ferraro followed up Hoggan on the powerplay and had a great chance on the doorstep before being taken down. Geoffrion put the Bulldogs on the board, showing off some great moves in front, deking out McCollum before tucking it five hole. Plays ham increased the lead to two when his soft shot found its way through McCollum's legs. Another big scrum broke out after the whistle with Grant taking the worst of a short bout before falling awkwardly. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - Ham 11.
Callahan in the box with a double minor for butt-ending leaving the Griffins shorthanded. Ferraro hit Parkes for a shorty to cut the lead to one. A few minutes later, Hoggan put a shot on net from the circle and Pare followed it up to stuff it past Mayer stick side for a two-all tie. Callahan and Hagel dropped the gloves in front of the GR bench with Mitch getting in several early before taking a shot that put him on his knees. Callahan got an extra two for cross checking followed shortly by a penalty to Evans leaving the Griffins short by two. They were able to escape the period unharmed. Shots on Goal: GR 4 - Ham 13.
Gabriel Dumont scored early to put the Bulldogs back on top. The Griffins evened things back up on the powerplay when Hoggan picked up the rebound of a Paetsch point shot and buried it into the cage next to Mayer glove side. Neither side was able to settle it in regulation so the game went to overtime. Shots on Goal: GR 5 - Ham 8.
Tatar had a great chance on a 3-on-2, hitting Andersson in the slot but he redirected it just wide of the net Shots on goal: GR 4 - Ham 4. For the Game: GR 20 - Ham 37.
The Shootout: Nyquist was the first shooter for Grand Rapids but he lost the puck as he cut in on net and didn't get a shot off. Geoffrion was next for Hamilton, streaking in and firing the puck just wide. The second round saw Smith shoot the puck wide of the net, and Holland popped a shot that looked to go into the net, but did not. Tatar lost the puck on the Griffins third attempt but Bournival snapped a shot past McCollum, stick-side to record the first and only goal of the shootout. Pare fired a shot the Mayer batted away with his glove, followed by Gallagher drilling a shot right into McCollum's midsection. Andersson had the last chance for the Griffins but fire the puck over the net, giving Hamilton the win.
Hoggan - Ferraro - Pare Paetsch - Nicastro/Lashoff
PK: Aubry - Hoggan Evans - Lashoff
Parkes - Ferraro Paetsch - Nicastro
The Griffins can't be happy with their undisciplined play early and it cost them this game. Callahan went to the box alone a couple of times and could earn a night off. A couple of shaky goals towards the end of the first didn't help either, but McCollum did settle down as the game went on.
Ferraro had another strong game, playing with confidence and flair. He used his seed effectively, especially while shorthanded, and threw some big hits along the boards. He set up Parkes' shorty today after notching his own yesterday and saw some time on a scoring line.
Hoggan had a great game, very noticeable and involved at both ends.
Paetsch looks very good at the point on the powerplay, very efficient, moves the puck well and has a low tipple point shot. Tatar made some very nifty plays with the puck, spinning around defenders and putting passes between peoples feet. he really looks like he has confidence and creativity.
I was very surprised that Blashill went with Andersson in the fifth round of the shootout with Jurco and Ferraro on the bench. Andersson, not known for being much of a goal scorer fired the puck over the net. I wonder if one of the two young guns could have made some magic...