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IT'S STILL EARLY


SAN ANTONIO – The Grand Rapids Griffins out shot the San Antonio Rampage in all three periods of Saturday’s contest, but were unable to rally for a victory, dropping a 7-4 decision at the AT&T Center.

The Griffins allowed six goals in the opening frame, which ties a franchise record for goals against in a single period. The feat had not been accomplished since the second period of a game against Cleveland on April 5, 2006.

San Antonio got on the board just 19 seconds into the game when Troy Brodie tipped a Sean Zimmerman shot past Daniel Larsson from right in front of the net. The Rampage then capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity when Stefan Meyer put in a rebound of a Kyle Turris one-time shot at 9:19.

Brett MacLean put the Rampage up 3-0, and chased Larsson from the Griffins’ net with another power play tally at the 10:11 mark.

The Rampage then struck twice in 10 seconds. Turris scored at 13:09, and on the ensuing face off, MacLean scored his second of the game in a two-on-one situation, making the score 5-0.

The Griffins finally got on the board at 16:19 of the first period when Dick Axelsson entered the Rampage zone on the left wing side of the rink, and deked to his backhand to put a shot under the glove of Josh Tordjman.

San Antonio was quick to answer just 18 seconds later, when Mikkel Boedker lit the lamp with on a slap shot from the top of the right circle.

The first period ended with a score of 6-1, and the Rampage scored on six of their first seven shots, however the Griffins battled back with three goals in the second period.

Kris Newbury entered the Rampage zone in a two-on-one rush with Jeremy Williams and unleashed a blast into the top right corner of San Antonio’s cage at 2:54 of the period.

Mike Walsh then scored his first goal of the season at the 5:00 mark. From the high slot he rifled a slap shot that broke through Tordjman, cutting the Rampage lead in half. Then Jamie Tardif scored a power play goal when he took a pass from Mattias Ritola and walked in on a quick break to beat Tordjman on the glove side.

MacLean came back with a hat trick goal at 16:20 of the final stanza, when he slammed a backhand shot through the pads of Thomas McCollum on a wraparound.

McCollum stopped seven shots in net for the Griffins (1-3-0-0), while Larsson recorded one. Tordjman turned aside 29 shots in the Rampage (5-1-1-0) win.

The Griffins will conclude their three-game Texas road trip on Sunday with a 4:00 p.m. EDT rematch against the Rampage at the AT&T Center.

Three Stars: 1. SA MacLean (3 goals); 2. SA Beleskey (1 assist); 3. SA Schlemko (2 assists).



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