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BACK ON TRACK

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 at Oklahoma City Barons 1

March 25, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY –
A career-high 43 saves by Tom McCollum helped the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-1 victory over the Oklahoma City Barons on Sunday evening at the Cox Convention Center.

McCollum, who made 41 saves in his last victory (March 20 at San Antonio), earned first star honors for his nearly-flawless performance against the Western Conference-leading Barons (41-18-4-5), while also ending Oklahoma City’s nine-game point streak (6-0-2-1).

Grand Rapids (30-26-6-4) earned two critical points to make up ground in the playoff race, sitting just five points back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

After controlling play for most of the first period, the Griffins were finally rewarded when they capitalized on a power play at 17:59. Joakim Andersson won a faceoff cleanly back to Doug Janik and drove hard to the net. Janik fired a shot that Barons goaltender David LeNeveu padded away, but Andersson banged in the rebound just six seconds into the man advantage.

Oklahoma City tallied its only goal of the evening 6:51 into the second period. Several Barons got whacks at a loose puck around the Griffins net, and ultimately Antti Tyrvainen slipped it past McCollum for his fourth goal of the season. McCollum and several Griffins defenders protested that Tyrvainen had kicked it in, but referee Zac Wiebe ruled that it was a good goal.

The Griffins took the lead 4:10 into the third frame with a goal by Chris Minard. Minard, who hit the crossbar and had several strong chances in the first two periods, one-timed a feed from Chris Conner over the glove of LeNeveu for his 17th goal of the season.

Francis Pare gave the Griffins some breathing room at 8:17 of the third period. Travis Ehrhardt fired a hard, cross-ice pass to Pare, who collected the puck off the boards and ripped a shot between LeNeveu’s glove and the post to make it 3-1.

Conner picked up his second point of the night, adding an empty netter at 18:30.

The Griffins will return home for a pair of home games this weekend, hosting Charlotte on Friday at 7 p.m. and Oklahoma City on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Three Stars: 1. GR McCollum (W, 43 saves); 2. GR Andersson (goal, assist); 3. GR Minard (game-winning goal, assist)

Griffins Game Rewind
AHLLive Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights:  Minard GWG  Pare Goal
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report




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