GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 5 at Texas Stars 1
Nov. 11, 2017
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Grand Rapids Griffins allowed the first goal of the game, but then they scored five unanswered to defeat the Texas Stars 5-1 at the H-E-B Center. The victory split the weekend series with the Stars after the 2-1 decision from the night before favored the home team.
This was the second matchup of a five-game, 10-day road trip for the Griffins (7-7-0-1) that continues in San Antonio on Tuesday afternoon at 11:30 a.m. EST. The Stars (7-7-0-1) also face off against the Rampage later on in the week.
The Stars lit up the lamp first when Travis Morin scored his third goal of the year at the 11:03 mark. Niklas Hansson missed the net with a shot from the blue line, but it was quickly collected by Curtis McKenzie in the trapezoid behind the cage. McKenzie made a quick no-look pass to Morin who sent the puck trickling past Grand Rapids goaltender Jared Coreau for the 1-0 lead.
With 6:07 remaining in the first period, the Griffins tied the game when Matt Puempel scored on a 2-on-1 rush. Matt Lorito blocked a Stars shot near the blue line and made a swift pass to Puempel in the neutral zone. The left winger sped toward the Texas zone with Lorito flanking to his right. Puempel opted to shoot instead of passing it and sent a laser over Stars goaltender Mike McKenna’s right shoulder.
Just 1:24 later Axel Holmstrom gave Grand Rapids a 2-1 lead when he led his own 2-on-1 rush. Crisp passing from Filip Hronek and Evgeny Svechnikov from the Griffins zone led to Holmstrom firing a bullet over McKenna’s glove from the right circle.
Midway through the second frame, the Griffins got another goal from Puempel at the 9:21 point. The Stars fumbled the puck behind the net and Lorito promptly corralled it near the right corner. The winger made a blistering pass to Puempel who tapped the rubber disc over McKenna’s right shoulder and into the net for a two-goal lead.
Grand Rapids took a commanding 4-1 lead with 12 seconds left in the second stanza when captain Matthew Ford scored from the right circle at a sharp angle. Corey Elkins won a faceoff that sent the puck to Ford who ripped a shot through the goaltender’s five hole. Seconds earlier the right winger made nearly the exact same shot and almost took the Texas goaltender by surprise.
The third period began with a goaltender change by the Stars when Landon Bow came into the game. He made six saves before the Griffins added one more goal with 7:34 remaining. Dominic Turgeon skated the puck up the right board and let off a backhanded shot. Bow made the initial save, but Eric Tangradi trailed the play and hammered home the rebound to make it 5-1.
Coreau finished the game with 31 saves for his fifth victory of the season, while McKenna and Bow combined for 33 saves in defeat.
Notes: With the Stars going 0-for-4 on the power play, the Griffins have now killed 27 consecutive penalties…In six of its seven victories Grand Rapids has scored at least five goals…This was the Griffins first win on the second night of a back-to-back
Three Stars: 1. GR Puempel (two goals); 2. GR Coreau (W, 31 saves); 3. TEX Morin (goal)