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TURN OF THE TIDE


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – After allowing just one goal in Friday’s 4-1 win over Peoria, the Grand Rapids Griffins saw the tide turn in Saturday’s rematch, which the Rivermen claimed by a 3-1 count at Van Andel Arena.

Chris Holt made 29 saves to hand the Griffins (38-17-6-6) just their sixth regulation loss in 36 home games this season. Grand Rapids, which remains five points behind first-place Manitoba in the North Division race, will complete its three-in-three weekend at Van Andel Arena on Sunday when the West Division-leading Milwaukee Admirals pay a 4 p.m. visit.

The game was scoreless until a flurry of goals in the final six minutes of the second period saw Peoria go to the locker room with a 2-1 lead. The Rivermen (34-30-1-1) scored the first two, with Ryan Reaves cleaning up a loose puck in the crease at 14:22 and Nicholas Drazenovic splitting two defenders before beating Jimmy Howard at 17:09.

The Griffins would answer before intermission, as Francis Pare potted his 21st goal from just outside the crease, putting a rebound past Holt. Pare now stands as one of only five rookies in franchise history to score more than 20 goals in a season.

An unfortunate bounce for Grand Rapids resulted in a gift goal for former Griffin Carl Corazzini and a 3-1 Peoria lead just 1:11 into the third period. As Howard skated behind his net to stop a dump-in, the puck took an odd deflection off the end glass and caromed out in front of the vacated net, allowing the charging Corazzini an uncontested goal.

Despite outshooting the Rivermen 13-2 in the third, the Griffins were unable to close the gap against a disciplined Peoria squad that provided just one power play opportunity on the night.

Howard finished with 24 saves in the tough-luck loss, leaving him two wins shy of Joey MacDonald’s team record for career victories (88), while Darren Haydar saw his team-high 10-game point streak come to an end.

Three Stars: 1. PEO Holt (W, 29 saves); 2. PEO Drazenovic (game-winning goal); 3. GR Pare (goal)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2
Official Game Report


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