San Antonio Rampage 3 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 OT
Feb. 9, 2018
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Matt Lorito scored his second goal of the night 3:16 into overtime on Friday to finish off the Grand Rapids Griffins’ wild and physical 4-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage at Van Andel Arena.
During a delayed penalty, Colin Campbell sent a feed across to Lorito at the bottom of the right circle, and the AHL All-Star put a shot on net that was snared by netminder Ville Husso, But unfortunately for the Rampage, Husso’s glove was over the line just inside the right post and the goal was subsequently upheld by video review, much to the delight of the 10,171 in attendance.
The Griffins, who’ve earned points in eight straight games (7-0-0-1), secured their fourth consecutive win and improved to 16-3-0-2 in their last 21 outings. Fourth in the Central Division in terms of points percentage (26-18-1-5, 0.580), they now rank second in the standings with 58 points.
Grand Rapids will play its third home game in four nights on Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Stockton Heat pay their lone visit of the season to West Michigan.
Despite the Griffins outshooting San Antonio (24-19-5-0) by a 16-7 margin and firing five shots during the first of their two power play chances, the opening period expired with zeroes showing on the scoreboard. Instead it was San Antonio that notched the first goal 2:37 into the middle frame, when Shawn Ouellette-St. Amant scooped a rebound past Tom McCollum from the slot.
Filip Hronek answered for the Griffins midway through the period, launching a one-timer from the point that sailed over Husso’s blocker at the 10:51 mark.
San Antonio forged ahead with a power play goal 1:41 into the third, as Jesse Graham pounded home a rebound from the bottom of the right circle, but the Griffins quickly answered to make it a 2-2 contest. Lorito collected the puck behind the net and tried to slip it inside the right post, and it ramped off the blade of Husso’s stick – which was lying on the ice after being dropped – and fluttered into the back of the net at 4:10.
The game deteriorated after Trent Vogelhuber’s hit on Matt Puempel below the Griffins’ goal line, which drew a boarding call, nearly sparked a melee and began a parade to the penalty box. A total of nine minors – five against San Antonio and four on Grand Rapids – were called in a span of 3:01, eventually creating a 4-on-4 that resulted in the first lead for the Griffins.
As Matthew Ford brought the puck into the zone at the left point, the Rampage defense momentarily relaxed in anticipation of an offside whistle that never came, and Ford took advantage of the extra space to rip a shot from the top of the circles into the left corner with 11:27 remaining.
The Rampage did not go quietly, forcing overtime on Andrew Agozzino’s blast through traffic at the 15:16 mark, but the Griffins went on to prevail and improve to 3-1 in overtime this season.
The teams combined for 80 shots on goal, with Husso stopping 38 and McCollum denying 35. The Griffins went 0-for-6 on the power play while ceding one goal on San Antonio’s three opportunities.
Three Stars: 1. GR Lorito (two goals); 2. GR Hronek (goal); 3. SA Grahan (power play goal, assist)