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GRIZZLIES GRIND OUT 3-1 WIN

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Despite outshooting their opponents by a 36-24 margin, the Grand Rapids Griffins (18-8-1-0) lost 3-1 to the Utah Grizzlies (7-18-0-2) on Friday night at The “E” Center. The loss paired with Milwaukee’s 7-2 win over Chicago, puts Grand Rapids into a tie for the top spot in the West Division. The loss is Grand Rapids’ second loss in 12 outings in hostile territory.

Grand Rapids allowed nine of the game’s first 10 shots and then outshot Utah 37-15 for the balance of the contest.

Utah opened the scoring when Peter White popped the rebound of Terry Virtue’s point shot past Drew MacIntyre 11 minutes into the first period.

The Griffins had a two-man advantage for six seconds late in the first period. Shortly after the first penalty to Utah expired, Erik Westrum recorded a shorthanded goal to open a 2-0 lead with 20 seconds remaining in the first period. The shorthanded tally is the first against the Griffins this season.

Grand Rapids trimmed the lead to 2-1 with a power play tally at 10:22 of the second period. Danny Groulx’s shot from the point deflected off Darryl Bootland to Matt Ellis. Ellis was able to tuck the puck into an open side of the net.

Westrum secured the victory when he slid the puck into an open net with one tick remaining in regulation.

MacIntyre stopped 21 shots to suffer his first loss in his last five decisions. Jean-Marc Pelletier made 37 saves for the win.

Eric Manlow, who had a five-game goal-scoring streak, and Todd Robinson, who had a nine-game point streak, each saw his streak come to an end.

The Griffins return to Van Andel Arena to host the Cleveland Barons on Saturday at 8 p.m. Immediately following Saturday’s contest, the third annual Great Skate begins at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. The Great Skate continues until 10 p.m. on Sunday night.


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