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LONELY AT THE TOP


PEORIA, Ill. – On a night that saw his shutout streak end at 142:04, Daniel Larsson stopped a season-high 40 shots to backstop the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 3-1 win over the Peoria Rivermen at the Carver Arena on Tuesday night. Larsson has now won his last five games and the Griffins have earned a point in seven consecutive contests.

Larsson is 10-0-1-1 in his last 12 decisions, helping the Griffins jump into sole possession of first place in the AHL’s North Division. Darren Haydar scored the game-winning goal for the second consecutive game, extending his current point streak to four games (2-3-5).

Jamie Tardif put the Griffins on the scoreboard, and himself into the record books, with his goal eight seconds into the game. Tardif wristed a shot from the top of the circle past Peoria goaltender Ben Bishop, establishing a new franchise record for the fastest goal to start both a game and a period. Bishop stopped 24 shots in the loss.

Peoria tied the game 1-1 with a goal by Jonas Junland 1:45 into the second period. On a 4-on-2 rush, Junland one-timed a pass from Nicholas Drazenovic into the back of the net from in close on the right side, stopping Larsson’s shutout streak that spanned parts of four games.

The Griffins responded quickly, as Haydar took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play to make the score 2-1 just 2:01 later. Haydar held the puck in on a clearing attempt, walked into the high slot and unleashed a slap shot that caromed off the left goalpost and Bishop’s back before ending up in the net.

The Rivermen were awarded with a penalty shot with 7:36 remaining in the second after Jonathan Ericsson closed his hand on the puck in the Griffins’ crease. Chris Conner took the shot for Peoria, but Larsson made a right-shoulder save on his attempt to preserve the 2-1 lead. Larsson has stopped both penalty shots he has faced this season.

Francis Pare added an insurance goal on a breakaway with 3:58 left in the game. Evan McGrath led Pare perfectly with a pass down the left-wing side and Pare beat Junland to the puck before tucking a shot inside the right post for a 3-1 Griffins’ lead.

With the Rivermen holding a two-man 6-on-4 advantage over the last 1:45, Larsson made one more great save, gloving down a shot while laying on his side to end the game with the Griffins up 3-1.

Three Stars: 1. GR Larsson (40 saves); 2. GR Haydar (Game-winning goal); 3. PEO Junland (Goal)

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Official Game Report



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