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OVERTIME BLUES


ROCKFORD, Ill.
– The Grand Rapids Griffins suffered a 2-1 overtime loss against the Rockford IceHogs Monday afternoon at the Rockford MetroCentre. Despite the loss, the Griffins still earned a point, giving them points in 15 of their last 17 contests (12-2-3-0).

With the loss, Grand Rapids (25-9-6-3) now has an AHL-high six overtime losses, matching a franchise record set during the 2006-07 campaign.

Following a scoreless opening period, Darren Haydar got the Griffins on the board with the team’s seventh shorthanded tally of the campaign at 2:35 of the second frame. A Rockford neutral-zone turnover allowed Haydar to skate in alone on Antti Niemi and snap a shot into the upper right corner of the net. Haydar now stands one point shy of 500 as a pro (187-312--499).

The IceHogs (22-17-0-4) notched the equalizer at 8:29 during a power play on a strange goal. Petri Kontiola knocked down a Griffins’ clearing attempt and sent a shot from the right point that fluttered off Jonathan Ericsson and past Daniel Larsson. Grand Rapids questioned the legality of the goal, saying Kontiloa knocked the puck down with a high stick. However, the goal stood and subsequently ended the Griffins’ impressive penalty killing streak at 43 opponent power plays killed, just two shy of the franchise record for consecutive penalty kills (45, 11/15/03-12/10/03).

The Griffins’ AHL-best penalty killing unit (88.9%) went a team-record 11 games without giving up a power play tally, as the last time an opponent scored with the man-advantage was Dec. 26 versus Peoria.

The teams remained locked in a 1-1 tie for the rest of regulation, resulting in overtime. Just 1:44 into the extra session, Rockford sped down the ice on a 3-on-2 rush and capitalized with a tick-tack-toe play. Kontiola slid a pass to the right circle to Tim Hambly, who in turn one-timed a feed to a wide open Andrew Archer in the slot for the dagger that ended the contest. 

Larsson made 32 saves in net for the Griffins, while Niemi had 23 stops for the IceHogs.

The Griffins will kick off a five-game home stand Wednesday against the Toronto Marlies at 7 p.m.

Three Stars: 1. RFD Archer (GW goal); 2. GR Larsson (L, 32 saves); 3. RFD Kontiola (1 goal, 1 assist).

Griffins Game Rewind
WTKG 1230 Highlights: 1 2
Official Game Report


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