Search Grand Rapids Griffins

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

Oklahoma City Barons 1 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 SO

March 16, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – In a wildly entertaining game with playoff intensity, the Grand Rapids Griffins moved into a tie for fourth place in the North Division and within two points of a playoff spot with a thrilling 2-1 shootout win over the Oklahoma City Barons on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.

Jordan Pearce made 31 saves and stopped four of five shootout attempts to improve to 10-1-1-3 in his last 15 games, as the Griffins (33-25-2-8) pushed their home winning streak to five, their overall point streak to eight (7-0-1-0), and ran their AHL-best record over the last 11 games to 9-1-1-0.

The victory sets up the Griffins’ biggest game of the season to date on Friday, when they’ll begin a 3-in-3 weekend on home ice by hosting the Lake Erie Monsters, with whom they are now tied for fourth. Faceoff is at 7 p.m., and the winner might move into a tie with Toronto for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the North Division.

Despite being outshot by a large margin for most of the opening stanza, the Barons (34-25-2-7) used a power play and a pair of former Griffins to set up their lone goal at 19:06. Taking a pass from Alexandre Giroux high in the left circle, Bryan Helmer sent a back-door feed to Brad Moran for an easy tally.

Francis Pare tied matters 10:49 into the second with his seventh goal in the last six games and 62nd of his Griffins career, moving past Slava Butsayev into sole possession of 10th place on the franchise’s all-time list. Jamie Johnson stole a pass in the Oklahoma City zone and quickly sent a pass out front to Pare, who whipped a shot past NHL veteran Martin Gerber from the slot.

Giroux had a great chance to put the Barons back on top with just five seconds remaining in the period, charging down the slot to redirect a centering pass, but Pearce made a fantastic save to keep it a 1-1 game through 40 minutes.

With 12:18 remaining in the third, Barons defenseman Richard Petiot checked Cory Emmerton hard into Gerber. The netminder suffered an unknown injury and was down on the ice for several minutes before skating off and leaving the game in favor of Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. Later reports indicated that Gerber left the arena on a stretcher.

At nearly the 15-minute mark of the frenetic frame, a Mark Arcobello backhand from the slot rang harmlessly off the iron behind Pearce, while just over a minute later, Jan Mursak was robbed by Drouin-Deslauriers on the other end. Then, the Griffins received power plays with 3:09 and 1:11 remaining, but they could not capitalize on either and the game progressed to overtime.

Giroux, the AHL’s second-leading scorer, had a breakaway from center ice less than two minutes into the extra period, but Pearce stoned him at the right post with a beautiful kick save. The Barons received their own power play with 2:22 left in overtime, but yeomen work by Pearce, Emmerton, Derek Meech and Doug Janik during a frenzied shift kept the puck out of the net, and the shootout ensued.

Pearce allowed a goal to Chris Vandevelde in the first round before stopping the final four shooters, and Johnson and Pare scored in rounds two and three to send the boisterous crowd of 7,125 home happy.

Gerber finished with 35 saves in the no-decision, while Drouin-Deslauriers took the shootout loss after stopping all 10 shots he faced during the third period and overtime.

Notes: With the 18th win of his Griffins career, Pearce moved into a tie with Neil Little and Martin Prusek for 10th place on the franchise’s all-time list…Meech made his 293rd appearance as a Griffin, tying Darryl Bootland for fifth all time.

Three Stars: 1. GR Pearce (W, 31 saves); 2. OKC Gerber (ND, 35 saves); 3. GR Pare (goal, shootout goal)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
AHLLive Video Highlights
GriffVision Video Interviews
WOOD Radio Highlights:  Pare goal   Pearce OT saves   SO goals
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004

Browse by Month »

September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004