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Griffins Score Four Goals In Two Minutes to Down Iowa Wild

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GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 5 at Iowa Wild 3

Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose

DES MOINES, Iowa – Two minutes in the second period produced four goals for the Grand Rapids Griffins and it proved to be the difference as they defeated the Iowa Wild, 5-3, on Fridaynight from Wells Fargo Arena.

The victory pushed the Griffins record to 35-24-1-6 while the Wild dropped to 30-21-9-5, trading places with each other in the Central Division standings for the third and fourth spots respectively.

The Wild got on the board first when Gerry Fitzgerald scored his second goal of the season from the right circle. The soft wrist shot snuck past Tom McCollum’s right arm after a turnover in the neutral zone.

Alex Grant increased the lead with a goal from the high right slot. The water-bottle-shaking goal was teed up after a drop pass from Pat Cannone at the 6:09 mark of the second period.

Matt Puempel tallied his 22nd goal with 4:04 left in the stanza to give the Griffins their first goal. The power play goal from the high slot came off of a slap shot that sent the puck sailing over Niklas Svedberg’s left glove.

Just 38 seconds later, the game was tied up thanks to Luke Esposito’s first career AHL goal. The rebound came off of a whiffed shot from Axel Holmstrom which led to a wide open net for Esposito.

Less than a minute after that, the Griffins took the lead after Zach Nastasiuk deflected Robbie Russo’s shot from the right point. The puck slid between Svedberg’s legs to give the road team a 3-2 lead.

Eric Tangradi added his team-leading 27th goal with 1:40 left in the second frame to push the score to 4-2. The winger skated around the net, squared up his shot, and sent the puck into the net on a quick wrist shot.

The Wild decreased the lead to a single goal when Sam Anas contributed his 21st goal. Two plus minutes later the Griffins made it a two-goal game again when Matt Lorito scored his fourth goal in four games to make the final score 4-2.

Grand Rapids finished 3-for-5 on the power play while Iowa converted on one of its four man advantages.

McCollum pushed aside 25 shots while Svedberg made 37 saves in a losing effort.

Three Stars: 1. GR Tangradi (goal, two assists); 2. GR Street (three assists); 3. IA Beck (two assists)