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A LONG WAY FROM HOME


ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The Grand Rapids Griffins rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period of Friday’s game against Abbotsford, but David Van der Gulik scored at the 19:00 mark to give the Heat a 4-3 win at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

The loss extinguished the surging Griffins’ (31-37-3-4) hopes of obtaining a Calder Cup playoff berth, however Grand Rapids made an admirable run by stringing together a 6-3-1-2 record (0.625%) in their 12 outings prior to Friday’s contest.

The Griffins will wrap up their regular season series with the Heat on Saturday night with a 9:00 p.m. EDT rematch at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

The Heat (36-29-5-6) jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period. Garth Murray made a sprawled-out effort to connect with Cam Cunning at the top of the left circle, from where he put a slap shot into the top left corner of the net just 2:53 into the opening frame. Abbotsford then took advantage of its first power play of the night at the 6:39 mark. After working the puck around the Griffins’ zone, Keith Seabrook took a pass at the right point and backpedaled to the middle of the rink to fire a low wrist shot just inside the right goalpost.

After a scoreless second period, Grand Rapids got on the board 5:37 into the final stanza. Cory Emmerton’s backhand attempt went wide of the cage, and Brad May gathered the loose puck behind the net to bank a shot off David Shantz’s backside from just below the goal line.

The Heat regained a two-goal margin just 2:01 later. John Lammers tried a shot from the left point before Shawn Weller pulled the rebound to his backhand for a tap-in goal.

Grand Rapids battled back to tie the score at three goals apiece, as Tomas Tatar rattled off two goals in a span of 2:42. At 13:42 he notched his 15th goal of the campaign, and at the 16:24 mark he picked a nearly-covered puck out of the crease to flip in a backhand rebound.

Van der Gulik broke the deadlock when he stripped the puck of the Griffins’ defense in the neutral zone, and went in on a breakaway to snap a shot into the top right corner of the net.

Daniel Larsson made 30 saves in the loss, while Shantz kicked aside 32 shots for the win. 

Three Stars: 1. ABB Van der Gulik (GW goal, 1 assist); 2. ABB Kronwall (2 assists); 3. GR Tatar (2 goals).

Griffins Game Rewind
AHLlive Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights: Tatar goal 1   Tatar goal 2   Heat GW goal
Official Game Report

 


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