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THREE OF A KIND


DES MOINES, Iowa – The Grand Rapids Griffins got back on track with a 5-4 overtime win against the Iowa Chops at the Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday evening. Jason Josza’s game-winning goal 1:20 into the extra period snapped a four-game losing streak for the Griffins.

The Griffins (9-5-2-2) scored three power-play goals in the win, including two from captain Darren Haydar. Daniel Larsson got the win in net for Grand Rapids, stopping 22 shots, while David LeNeveu gave up the game-winner despite stopping 11 of 12 shots while in the Chops’ net.

Garrett Stafford capitalized on an early power play to give Grand Rapids a 1-0 lead 1:52 into the game, putting home the rebound of a Randall Gelech shot from the left side of the net. Haydar made the Griffins 2-for-2 on power play opportunities with his goal 2:20 after Stafford’s tally. From the left circle, Haydar one-timed a feed from Stafford past Levasseur for a 2-0 Griffins’ lead.

Petteri Wirtanen cut that lead in half with a 4-on-4 goal at 9:17 of the first period. After a faceoff win, Brian Salcido faked a shot from the right point and sent a pass to Wirtanen, who lifted a shot over Larsson’s right shoulder.

With 1:01 remaining in the opening stanza, Evan McGrath scored to make it 3-1. McGrath forced a turnover in the Iowa zone and deked Levasseur to the ice before putting the puck inside the left post. The Griffins then started the second period with their third power-play goal of the night. Haydar ripped a slap shot from above the left circle that beat Levasseur for his second goal of the game 3:22 into the second and signaled the end of the night for the Chops’ starting goalie.

The Chops forced overtime by scoring three consecutive goals in the second and third periods. Matt Beleskey started the comeback with a power-play goal at the 5:32 mark of the second. Beleskey converted a turnover in front of Larsson into a goal that cut the Grand Rapids lead to 4-2. T.J. Trevelyan then scored to make it a one-goal game with 4:12 left in the second period. Josh Green completed the comeback with his goal at 8:48 of the third period.

Josza scored the game-winner on a one-timer from Justin Abdelkader 1:20 into the extra period. McGrath fed Abdelkader to start a 2-on-1 and he slid the puck to Josza on the left side of the net for a 5-4 Grand Rapids win.

Three Stars: 1. GR Josza (Game-winning goal); 2. IOW Beleskey (Goal, 2 assists); 3. GR Stafford (Goal, 2 assists)

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Official Game Report

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