12/18/2005 7:45 PM
SYRACUSE, NY The abundance of shots, in addition to the three points from Eric Manlow lifted the Grand Rapids Griffins up to 4-3 victory over the Syracuse Crunch Sunday evening, snapping a frustrating 5-game losing streak at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
The Griffins scored first during their 16th 5-on-3 opportunity of the year of which they only connected for the second time this season when Eric Manlow buried a one-timer off a pass from Jiri Hudler breaking his 16-game goalless drought. Kyle Quincey drew an assist on the play as well and the goal came at 6:41 of the first period.
The Crunch answered back at 9:15 of the period when Jeff Szwez snuck a rebound from Mark Hartigans shot past Joey MacDonald. Ole-Kristian Tollefsen also assisted on the goal.
Jeff Szwez soon recorded his second goal of the evening during a power play at 18:25 of the first period off assists from Aaron Johnson and Andy Delmore. Despite dominating the play by out-shooting the Crunch 21 to 10, the Griffins found themselves trailing 2-1 at the end of the opening period. The 21 shots mark the most the Griffins have recorded in a single period thus far this season.
The shots would soon pay-off for the Griffins early in the second when the red hot Donald MacLean sent a centering pass to the slot that deflected off Syracuse goaltender, Andrew Penners stick and into the net during a power play at 2:25 of the period. Crunch forward Ben Simon soon spoiled the tie game when he blasted a shot past Joey MacDonald off a pass from Andy Delmore at 7:11 of the period.
In his return to Syracuse and with family members watching, Kent McDonell tied the game at 3 goals apiece at 4:55 of the third period during a Griffins power play when he slid the puck between the legs of Andrew Penner. Both Eric Manlow and Kyle Quincey added points to their night as they assisted on the goal.
Grand Rapids was later presented with another 5-on-3 opportunity where they kept intense pressure on the Crunch which led to Eric Manlows second goal of the night just after the power play expired when he snapped his own rebound past the Syracuse netminder off assists from Jiri Hudler and Darryl Bootland. The goal would stand as the game winner as the Crunch pulled goaltender Andrew Penner in the closing minute but came up short with the man advantage.
The Grand Rapids Griffins will carry this boost of confidence into Milwaukee Wednesday night as they prepare to take on the Admirals at the Bradley Center at 8 p.m.
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