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A LITTLE HOLIDAY CHEER

Mark Hartigan celebrates his game-tying goal.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Iowa Stars overcame a pair of goals by Mark Hartigan to prevail 3-2 in a shootout at Van Andel Arena on Friday, as the Grand Rapids Griffins earned their first point on home ice this season.

After Hartigan had secured that point by tying the score with less than six minutes left in regulation, the Stars took the shootout on goals by Marty Sertich and Toby Peterson and a perfect four-save effort by Tobias Stephan, who stopped 38 shots during the game.

The Griffins (5-10-0-2) and Stars (9-9-1-0) will stage round two of their weekend set in a 7 p.m. start Saturday at Van Andel Arena. The game will feature the Griffins’ eighth annual Teddy Bear Toss for charity, as fans are asked to bring new, store-tagged stuffed animals to throw onto the ice after Grand Rapids scores its first goal.

Wearing white and red third jerseys modeled after the Detroit Red Wings’ road sweaters, the Griffins dominated the early going and used their third power play of the opening stanza to take a 1-0 lead. In the right corner, Hartigan took a feed from Mark Cullen and threw the puck at the net, where it glanced off Stephan’s skate and snuck across the line at 11:07.

Grand Rapids, which out-shot the Stars 20-4 for the period and 40-24 for the game, took that one-goal advantage to the locker room, marking the first time in 22 home periods this season that the Griffins left the ice with a lead.

Iowa was awarded a two-man advantage 3:37 into the second period, and for the ninth time in 11 opponent 5-on-3 opportunities this season the Griffins would surrender a goal, with Junior Lessard scoring from the left circle at 4:10.

The 1-1 deadlock lasted until the 3:58 mark of the third period, when the Stars broke in on a 2-on-1. As a Griffins power play was expiring, Sertich carried the puck down the left side and sent a pass across to Janos Vas, whose shot beat Adam Berkhoel to the right post and gave Iowa its first lead.

With time waning in the third period, Hartigan scored his second goal of the night to force overtime. Carl Corazzini carried the puck below the right circle and centered a pass to Hartigan, who beat Stephan backdoor at 14:45 for his team-leading ninth tally of the season.

Berkhoel was solid in stopping 21 of 23 shots on the night, but he could not prevent the Griffins from establishing new franchise records with an eight-game winless streak at home (0-7-0-1) and a 10-game winless streak overall (0-8-0-2).


Griffins Game Rewind
Video Highlights (Nov. 23-24)
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3 4 5
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2
Photo Gallery
Official Game Report


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