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MONSTER MASH


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins ended their 2009-10 home schedule on a high note on Friday, delighting a sellout crowd of 10,834 with a 6-1 demolition of the Lake Erie Monsters at Van Andel Arena.

Mattias Ritola scored twice and Thomas McCollum stopped all but one of the 26 shots that came his way, as the rookie netminder improved to 3-1-1 with a 0.926 save percentage in his last five appearances.

The Griffins, who finished their home slate at the 0.500 mark (19-19-1-1) by going 4-1-1-1 over their final seven games within friendly confines, will close out the season with road games in Chicago on Saturday and Milwaukee on Sunday.

The Griffins (33-38-3-4) needed just 1:18 to jump on top, as Ritola took a sharp-angle shot from the left side that John Grahame seemed to have under control, but the puck slipped inside the post and trickled across the line.

Grand Rapids added to its lead at the 7:43 mark during a power play. Doug Janik fed a pass to Cory Emmerton, who skated between the circles and backhanded a pass to the back door, where Francis Pare was waiting to bang it home.

Lake Erie cut its deficit in half on a beautiful shot by Ray Macias that found the far corner of McCollum’s net at 14:25, but Ritola answered with his second of the period from the right side just 50 ticks later to make it a 3-1 contest.

The Griffins quickly potted two goals early in the second to extend their lead to 5-1. At 1:42, Emmerton skated around the net and found Sergei Kolosov streaking through the slot for a one-timer past Grahame. Brad May, who entered the game with his first three-game goal streak in 12 years, earned an assist on the play to give him the first four-game point streak of his 19-year pro career. Then, at 4:19, Jan Mursak collected a rebound in the goal mouth and roofed a backhander over the netminder’s glove.

Jeremy Williams provided the final margin at the 8:51 mark of the third period, converting a May feed from the slot for his team-high 27th goal of the season.

Jakub Kindl finished with three assists on the night, while Emmerton, Mursak and May also contributed multiple points against Grahame, who made 25 stops.

Notes: The Griffins finished fourth out of 29 AHL clubs in attendance this season at 7,016 per game, their second straight season with a plus-7,000 average…Landon Ferraro, Detroit’ first pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and the son of longtime NHLer Ray Ferraro, made his pro debut with the Griffins.

Three Stars: 1. GR Ritola (two goals); 2. GR Kindl (three assists); 3. GR McCollum (W, 25 saves)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
GriffVision Video Highlights
GriffVision Video Interviews: Ritola   McCollum   Fraser
WOOD Radio Highlights: Ritola goal   Kolosov goal   Mursak goal
Post-Game Sound Bites: McCollum   Ritola   Fraser
Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

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