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GRIFFINS FALL IN OT DESPITE FIRING 48 SHOTS

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins fought back from a two-goal deficit to force overtime but ultimately could not overcome a tremendous 46-save performance by Mikael Tellqvist, as the St. John’s Maple Leafs earned a 3-2 overtime win on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.

After Matt Ellis scored at 13:14 of the third period to knot the score at two, Carlo Colaiacovo lifted a shot over Joey MacDonald 2:29 into the extra session to break St. John’s five-game losing skid. Despite the overtime loss, the Griffins have earned at least one point in their last three home contests and four games overall. The Griffins trail Houston by three points for fourth in the division after both teams have played 56 games.

The Griffins (28-25-2-1) will begin a three-day, three-city tour of the upper Midwest on Saturday, as they’ll visit Allstate Arena for an 8 p.m. start against the Chicago Wolves.

Just 5:38 into the opening period, Nathan Barrett beat MacDonald on a sharp-angle shot from the right side, marking the eleventh consecutive game in which Grand Rapids has allowed a power play goal.

The Leafs (33-23-1-3) extended their lead at 2:23 of the second. A Kyle Wellwood wraparound attempt from the right side ended up trickling across the crease to David Ling, who beat his man and slammed the puck into the net.

Jiri Hudler put the Griffins on the board during a 4-on-4 situation midway through the frame. Taking a pass from Niklas Kronwall, he skated into the right circle, put a move on Leafs defenseman Brendan Bell and snapped a shot past Tellqvist at 10:01.

Grand Rapids had three golden chances to net the equalizer early in the third period, but Ellis hit the post and Tellqvist turned aside both a point-blank attempt by Derek Meech and a breakaway by Ernie Hartlieb.

The Griffins’ persistence paid off with 6:46 left on the clock, as they tied the game on their 41st shot of the night. Following a mad scramble around the St. John’s net, Ellis collected the puck and stuffed it under Tellqvist, giving him points in nine of his last 12 games (5-6—11).

In their last two meetings in Grand Rapids against St. John’s, the Griffins have managed to find the twine four times despite firing 97 shots at Tellqvist and Jean-Sebastien Aubin.

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