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GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 5 at Houston Aeros 1

April 2, 2013

HOUSTON –
Francis Pare reached an historic milestone on Tuesday at the Toyota Center, scoring his 100th and 101st goals in a Griffins uniform to help Grand Rapids defeat the Houston Aeros 5-1.

The Griffins (39-23-3-3) scored four goals in 5:03 during the second period to take a commanding lead they wouldn’t lose.

After a scoreless opening period, Chad Billins put the Griffins on the scoreboard at 7:58 of the second. The defenseman blocked the puck at the line and quickly snapped a shot from the top of the left wing circle through traffic and under Darcy Kuemper’s glove.

Grand Rapids took a two-goal lead on a shorthanded goal at 9:52 of the middle period. Adam Almquist’s shot deflected off a defenseman and Jan Mursak worked the puck back to Almquist at the point. Almquist returned a pass for Mursak, who sent the puck back towards the net, where Luke Glendening popped in a rebound to give the Griffins a 2-0 lead.

Tomas Jurco put Grand Rapids ahead by three goals with a backhand shot at 11:05 of the second period. Pare picked up the loose puck in front of the right circle and fed it to Jurco, who flipped a backhand shot into a wide open net. After giving up three straight goals, the Aeros pulled Kuemper in favor of Cody Reichard.

Pare scored his 100th goal as a Griffin just under two minutes later, becoming just the second to reach the century mark after Michel Picard. The Lemoyne, Quebec, native backed up from the right wing circle and snuck his shot above Reichard’s catching glove at a near-impossible angle at 13:01. The goal was Pare’s 20th of the season, marking his third 20-goal season.

But Pare didn’t stop there. The right wing received a great pass from Louis-Marc Aubry and quickly netted his 101st goal at 6:10 of the third period, all but sealing a Griffins victory with a 5-0 lead.

The Aeros (33-24-5-5) scored their lone goal of the game at 7:50 of the final period. The puck took a Houston bounce right to Stephane Veilleux, and the left wing’s shot slipped past Tom McCollum before the goaltender could recover.

Kuemper stopped 13 of 16 shots and Reichard made 11 saves for the Aeros in their loss to the Griffins. McCollum earned the victory behind 25 saves.

The Griffins will battle Abbotsford on back-to-back nights this weekend to wrap up their season-high seven game road trip, starting with a matchup on Friday at 10 p.m. EDT.

Three Stars: 1. GR Pare (two goals, assist); 2. GR Jurco (goal, assist); 3. HOU Veilleux (goal)
 

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