01/17/2013 8:48 PM
GR 5, CHA 3
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 5 at Charlotte Checkers 3
Jan. 17, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Grand Rapids Griffins’ offense came alive and ended a six-game losing streak against the Charlotte Checkers with a 5-3 victory on Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
After being shut out last night, the Griffins held Charlotte to only 15 shots, marking the first time in franchise history the team has defeated the Checkers.
Charlotte jumped on the scoreboard first as Michal Jordan scored a shorthand goal at 6:56 of the first period. Coming off a faceoff near the Checkers goal, Brett Sutter sent a centering pass to Jordan and the defenseman tipped the puck past Tom McCollum on a backdoor play.
Francis Pare scored the Griffins’ first goal in the two-game series at 10:18 of the first period when he buried a shot from the top of the circles to tie the game at one.
Jordan scored his second goal of the game and his third of the season for the Checkers just over one minute after Grand Rapids netted the tying goal. The defenseman fired a wrist shot 55 feet from the goal, tucking the puck inside the right goal post at 11:24 of the first period.
Landon Ferraro tied the game at two midway through the second period. Joakim Andersson angled his pass into the middle and Ferraro snuck behind the Checkers defense, sending his shot behind the pads of Justin Peters. The goal at 11:10 of the second period was the center’s 15th of the season, tying Tomas Tatar for team lead.
Grand Rapids took their first lead of the game at 2:47 of the third period. Gustav Nyquist scored a highlight reel-worthy goal as he fired the puck during a spin-o-rama move, sneaking his shot inside the right goal post.
The Checkers answered less than two minutes later as Justin Shugg’s shot was stopped by McCollum, but deflected off a Griffins defender. The puck took a Charlotte bounce into the net to tie the game at 4:28 of the final period.
In his first game back since Dec. 29, Andersson assisted on two goals before scoring one of his own to give the Griffins a lead they wouldn’t lose. Nyquist’s shot was deflected by Peters, but the rebound bounced right to Andersson on the opposite side of the goal. The center’s goal was his 50th as a pro.
In his first game since Dec. 31, Pare scored the final goal of the night on an empty net at 19:42 of the third period, securing the Griffins victory in Charlotte.
Peters recorded 36 saves while McCollum earned the win behind 14 saves. With his 36th career victory, the goaltender passed Pokey Reddick for seventh place in franchise history.
The Griffins will travel to Rockford on Saturday, taking on the IceHogs at 8:05 p.m. EST.
Three Stars: 1. GR Andersson (goal, two assists); 2. CHA Jordan (two goals); 3. GR Ferraro (goal, assist)