GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 6 at San Antonio Rampage 3
Nov. 14, 2017
SAN ANTONIO – The Grand Rapids Griffins tallied five goals in a 9:48 span during the second period on Tuesday afternoon at the AT&T Center and powered past the San Antonio Rampage, 6-3.
For the second time in six days, the Griffins (8-7-0-1) upended San Antonio (9-4-1-0) in a matinee affair, as Grand Rapids rolled by the Rampage 7-4 during last Wednesday’s rendition at Van Andel Arena.
Grand Rapids scored five times via five different scorers during the middle frame to batter Rampage netminder Spencer Martin, the reigning AHL Player of the Week. Martin allowed five goals in 9:48 today, after his previous five were surrendered over a period lasting 208:20.
The Griffins, who have won four of their last five to climb back above the 0.500 mark for the first time since Oct. 13, will continue their five-game road trip on Friday when they travel to Iowa to take on the Wild for the first time this season. Puck drop from Wells Fargo Arena is set for 8 p.m. EST.
Continuing their strong play from last Saturday’s 5-1 win at Texas, the Griffins outshot San Antonio 7-2 in the opening 4:37 of the game but were held off the scoreboard. San Antonio ended up outshooting Grand Rapids 13-10 in the first period, but both teams skated to a scoreless intermission, thanks to Tom McCollum and Martin.
The Griffins used a 5-on-3 advantage early in the second period to strike first. With Trent Vogelhuber and Felix Girard in San Antonio’s penalty box, Matt Lorito fed a wide-open Matt Puempel at the right-wing circle, who blasted a bullet past Martin at 5:59. For Puempel, it was his third goal in the last two contests.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as 1:58 later the Rampage evened the score. Skating through the left circle, Vogelhuber left the puck for Samuel Blais to fire a sharp-angle attempt past McCollum.
San Antonio took advantage of a Dylan McIlrath hooking call and grabbed a 2-1 lead at the 9:08 mark. Klim Kostin’s shot from the left circle slipped inside the right goal post and snapped the Griffins’ streak of 27 consecutive penalties killed.
Grand Rapids evened the game 1:31 later on its second power play goal of the day. Skating with a 4-on-3 advantage, Lorito slid a pass right-to-left across the crease to captain Matthew Ford, who buried the puck into an open cage. The Griffins finished the day 2-for-6 while on the man-advantage.
Eric Tangradi gave the Griffins a 3-2 lead with 6:29 remaining in the second stanza just 11 seconds after exiting the penalty box due to a tripping infraction. Dominic Turgeon let go a shot from the left circle that missed the goal and rebounded off the end boards. Tangradi collected the carom at the right circle and snapped a left-handed shot past the diving goaltender.
Just 16 seconds is all Grand Rapids would need to extend its advantage to two goals. Following a faceoff win by Ben Street at the left circle, Dan Renouf passed the puck to Filip Hronek at the right point. The rookie blueliner notched his second goal of the season by tucking the puck inside the crossbar.
Joe Hicketts made it back-to-back goals by a defenseman after his first goal of the campaign came exactly two minutes later and created a 5-2 lead in favor of the visitors. Puempel gained the zone on the left side and passed to the trailing Hicketts, who skated toward the slot and deposited Grand Rapids’ fifth goal over Martin’s catching glove.
Hicketts’ tally would prove to be the end of the day for Martin, who finished with 18 saves. Ville Husso, who the Griffins victimized for six goals last week, entered in relief and stopped all 10 shots he faced.
The Rampage pulled Husso with 5:32 remaining in regulation and found instant success as Tage Thompson lit the lamp with 3:50 to play, cutting Grand Rapids’ lead to 5-3.
Corey Elkins restored the Griffins’ three-goal edge with 1:24 left in regulation after breaking up an Andrew Agozzino pass and sending the puck 170 feet down the ice into an empty net.
McCollum turned aside 35 shots for his third win in his last four starts. Grand Rapids concluded the afternoon 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Notes: Veteran defenseman Brian Lashoff played in his 343rd regular season game as a Griffin, passing Louis-Marc Aubry for sixth on the franchise’s all-time list…Todd Nelson earned his 99th victory as head coach of the Griffins and will look to become the fifth coach in franchise history to reach the century mark on Friday at Iowa…Grand Rapids has won six straight against San Antonio…The Griffins played two weekday matinee games against the same team in the same season for the first time since 2003-04…Ben Street recorded the 300th and 301st points of his AHL career...Grand Rapids has won five of its last six matinee games.
Three Stars: 1. GR Tangradi (goal, assist); 2. GR Lorito (two assists); 3. SA Blais (goal, assist)