San Antonio Rampage 6 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3
Feb. 23, 2013
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Behind a 40-save performance by Dov Grumet-Morris, the San Antonio Rampage overcame a 43-21 disparity in shots and snapped the Grand Rapids Griffins’ four-game home winning streak with a 6-3 victory on Saturday at Van Andel Arena.
Grand Rapids, whose lead atop the Midwest Division now stands at three points over Chicago, trailed 2-1 midway through the second period before three straight Rampage goals blew the game open for a time. The Griffins responded with two of their own, including a hotly disputed goal by Mitch Callahan that made the score 5-3 with nearly five minutes left, but San Antonio – fifth in the South Division – held on to earn its third win in its last four games and its sixth victory in its last nine outings.
The bad news for the Griffins (29-18-2-2) is that they’ve failed to earn points in four of their last six outings, a first this season under new head coach Jeff Blashill. The good news is that they get an immediate chance at redemption tomorrow when they host a rematch with the Rampage at 4 p.m.
The Rampage (24-24-1-4) pounced on a pair of rebounds to build a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes despite being out-shot by an 11-4 margin. Zach Hamill got the scoring started just 37 seconds into the contest, slapping the puck past Tom McCollum from the slot. San Antonio then went more than 17 minutes without registering a shot until capitalizing on a 4-on-3 power play, as McCollum denied Brian O’Hanley’s initial try from the right side before Greg Rallo potted the rebound into a gaping net from the bottom of the left circle at 17:55.
Grand Rapids answered with its own power play goal halfway through the second to cut the deficit to one. From the left point, Brett Skinner slid a pass to the top of the right circle to Gustav Nyquist, who teed up a slap shot that beat Grumet-Morris low to the ice at the 9:46 mark.
Any momentum the Griffins gained from that goal was short-lived, though, as the Rampage scored twice in the ensuing seven minutes to take a 4-1 cushion into the second intermission. Quinton Howden went coast-to-coast with the puck before snapping a wrist shot past McCollum from the left circle at 12:09, and Scott Timmins followed up by redirecting Eric Selleck’s centering pass from the doorstep with exactly four minutes left in the period.
Up three goals despite having had its shot output more than doubled (12-25), San Antonio promptly made it a 5-1 game when Brendon Nash scored from long range during a power play on his team’s 13th shot 1:04 into the third.
With just over 11 minutes remaining, Riley Sheahan trimmed the margin to 5-2 when he ripped a shot home from the slot while being tripped at 8:48. That goal ignited the Griffins, who began forcing the play in the Rampage end and had several near-misses around the visitors’ net over the next few minutes before San Antonio was awarded a sixth power play.
Grand Rapids successfully killed off that chance and soon after capitalized on one of its own. Several Griffins took whacks at the puck in a scramble around Grumet-Morris’ net before Callahan jammed it across the line at 15:06, prompting the goalie to briefly chase after referee Ian Croft and infuriating San Antonio coach Chuck Weber.
McCollum, who finished with 15 saves, went to the bench in favor of an extra attacker with 2:42 remaining, and the Griffins generated several scoring chances before Howden scored his second of the night into the empty net at 19:30.
Notes: Right wing Jan Mursak, assigned to Grand Rapids by the Detroit Red Wings earlier today after clearing waivers, is slated to make his AHL season debut on Sunday. He skated in 190 games with the Griffins from 2008-12, notching 87 points (39-48—87) and 108 penalty minutes…The Griffins have not won five consecutive games on home ice in nearly two years (Feb. 20-March 16, 2011)…Grumet-Morris served as the Griffins’ backup goalie for five games in January 2011 but saw no action.
Three Stars: 1. GR Nyquist (power play goal, two assists); 2. SA Grumet-Morris (W, 40 saves); 3. SA Howden (two goals, assist)