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SINGULAR FRUSTRATION


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins suffered the season’s sixth one-goal loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday, dropping a frustrating 2-1 decision in their third game in three nights at Van Andel Arena.

The game was scoreless for nearly 58 minutes until a controversial interference call on Darren McCarty resulted in a power play goal by Milwaukee’s Cody Franson with 2:04 remaining, and the Admirals held on as the Griffins suffered consecutive regulation losses at home for the first time this season.

The Griffins (38-18-6-6), who remain five points behind first-place Manitoba in the North Division, will conclude their five-game homestand by hosting Toronto this Friday and Saturday, after which they will embark on a team-record eight-game road trip.

Grand Rapids built an 11-3 advantage in shots over the first period and held a 21-10 cushion through 40 minutes, but former Griffin Drew MacIntyre continued his history of frustrating his old mates.

Late in the third, with McCarty in the box, Justin Abdelkader having just missed on a shorthanded breakaway and the Griffins 20 seconds shy of killing off Milwaukee’s fifth power play chance of the night, Nick Spaling’s try from the top of the left circle hit a skate out front and deflected right to the stick of Franson, who beat Daniel Larsson from the right side.

After MacIntyre robbed Mattias Ritola on a point-blank attempt with 1:15 remaining, Franson scored his second into an empty net at the 19:19 mark. The Griffins kept pressing, though, and finally averted the shutout when Ville Leino potted McCarty’s centering pass from the slot with 15 seconds left.

Larsson stopped 19-of-20 in the loss, while MacIntyre improved to 5-1 against Grand Rapids this season by making 28 saves.

The game was witnessed by the Griffins’ third sellout crowd of the season (10,834), as they ended their 3-in-3 home weekend with a cumulative attendance of 28,770 (9,590 avg., 89% capacity). Based on presales for the final three home games, Grand Rapids is guaranteed to realize three straight seasons of increased attendance for the first time in franchise history, and it has a great chance to finish with its largest attendance since the 2000-01 season.

Three Stars: 1. MIL Franson (two goals); 2. MIL MacIntyre (W, 28 saves); 3. GR Larsson (L, 19 saves)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2 3 4
Photo Gallery
Official Game Report


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