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BITTERSWEET AFTERNOON

Nov. 10, 2010 – Milwaukee Admirals 1 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 0 SO

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.Thomas McCollum made 23 saves to earn his first career shutout but his Grand Rapids teammates were equally unable to solve Milwaukee netminder Mark Dekanich, as the Griffins suffered a 1-0 shootout loss to the Admirals on Wednesday in their 10th annual matinee game at Van Andel Arena.

After Mark Santorelli and Jamie Lundmark scored in rounds one and three of the shootout to stake the visitors to a commanding two-goal advantage, Jamie Tardif answered for Grand Rapids in the fourth stanza to keep his team afloat. McCollum then denied Matt Halischuk’s fifth-round try to give the Griffins life, but Brendan Smith’s subsequent attempt rang off the left post to end the contest.

The Griffins, who now have points in seven of the last eight games (5-1-0-2) and sport a 7-3-0-3 record overall, will take aim at their sixth consecutive road victory on Saturday at 4 p.m. when they start a two-game set against the Hamilton Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum.

Each team had a great chance to settle matters in overtime, but Dekanick’s left pad stopped a point-blank shot by Francis Pare early in the stanza, and McCollum made a similar save on Jonathan Blum with less than a minute remaining.

A student-dominated crowd of 6,141 saw a Griffins game advance to a shootout as a scoreless tie for the first time since Grand Rapids’ 1-0 shootout win over Quad City on Jan. 24, 2009. McCollum, meanwhile, became just the third goalie in franchise history and the first in the Griffins’ 10 AHL seasons to sustain a 1-0 shootout loss, joining IHL-era goalies Patrick Lalime (Dec. 14, 1997 at Quebec) and Pokey Reddick (March 28, 1997 vs. Indianapolis).

Grand Rapids accumulated its second-highest shot total of the season with 35, but Dekanich, the third-ranked goalie in the AHL, stopped them all to help Milwaukee (7-3-1-2) claim its second one-goal win over the Griffins this season and extend its point streak to four games.

Each team went 0-for-2 on the power play, in a four-penalty game that was the first at Van Andel Arena this season to be officiated by two referees.

Three Stars: 1. MIL Dekanich (SOW, shutout, 35 saves); 2. GR McCollum (SOL, shutout, 23 saves); 3. GR Tatar
 

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