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CRUNCH SQUEEZE GRIFFINS IN SHOOTOUT


SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Jimmy Howard turned aside 39-of-40 shots in net, but the Grand Rapids Griffins fell to the Syracuse Crunch 2-1 in a shootout on Friday night at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter. The Griffins were denied on all three opportunities in the shootout, while the Crunch scored three times in four chances.

Howard was matched save-for-save by the Crunch’s Sebastian Dahm, who stopped 40 of the 41 shots that Grand Rapids put on net. The Griffins (31-12-6-5) tied a season-high with their fourth consecutive loss, and have now dropped three straight contests on the road. They will attempt to snap that streak with a road contest in Toronto Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. In the three games between the two squads, the Griffins have held the Crunch (26-22-3-2) to just three goals, but have dropped two shootout decisions by the score of 2-1.

Logan Pyett put the Griffins ahead 3:55 into the first period with his second goal of the season. Pyett launched a shot from the right point that found its way through traffic and past Dahm on Grand Rapids’ second shot of the contest. Darren Haydar recorded the primary assist on the goal, extending his point streak to six games (4-5-9).

The Griffins, who entered the game with the league’s top penalty-kill, maintained their one-goal lead through a crucial 5-on-3 situation that spanned 1:50. Grand Rapids led until Derek MacKenzie scored a short-handed goal 2:33 into the third period when he picked off a pass from Haydar and fired a wrist shot over Howard’s glove on the ensuing breakaway.

Grand Rapids applied heavy pressure with just more than one minute remaining in regulation. Dahm stopped four shots from in close during one possession and then Jason Jozsa rang a shot off the goalpost before the Crunch could clear the puck, effectively sending the game to overtime.

Neither team was able to score in the overtime period, meaning the game was decided via a shootout. Mike York was the first shooter for the Crunch and his wrist shot found its way through Howard’s pads and over the line. Evan McGrath, Garrett Stafford and Mattias Ritola were denied in order by Dahm, while Maksim Mayorov and Steve Kelly both scored on the backhand to seal the win.

Three Stars: 1. SYR MacKenzie (SH goal); 2. SYR York (SO goal); 3. GR Howard (39 saves)

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3
Official Game Report



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