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GRIFFINS SUFFER THIRD STRAIGHT LOSS

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2

March 10, 2018

WILKES-BARRE, Pa.
– Despite outshooting their opponents in every period, the Grand Rapids Griffins fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2-1 at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night.

The Griffins (31-22-1-6) are back in action on Sunday against the Hershey Bears from the Giant Center at 5 p.m. EST. The Penguins take the ice again on Tuesday night against the Charlotte Checkers.

Adam Johnson put the Penguins on the board at the 12:25 mark of the opening period. His ninth goal of the season was tallied after getting behind the defense and meeting Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum one-on-one. He charged the net, shifted to his backhand, and slipped the puck past the goaltender’s extended left leg.

The Griffins had plenty of opportunities to even the game up, but all 12 shots missed the cage in one form or fashion. Two power plays allowed Grand Rapids to get more shots than the home team. By the end of the frame, the Griffins had doubled up the Penguins in chances 12-6.

The second frame was scoreless for both teams. Despite the Penguins committing three penalties, the Griffins couldn’t convert on any of the benefits. In one sequence Wilkes-Barre/Scranton delivered a two-man advantage due to back-to-back penalties. Matthew Ford had a clear shot from the left circle, but was stonewalled by Anthony Peters.

Ben Street tied the game 7:58 into the final stanza. Vili Saarijarvi took the original shot from the blue line, but it was kept away from the net by various defenders. Street skated towards the rebound and chipped it into the net over Peters’ shoulder for his 12th goal of the season.

Three minutes later, the Penguins regained the lead when Kevin Czuczman added his fourth goal of the campaign. After a series of passes in the Griffins zone, the puck slid to the defenseman who was open in the slot. He took a quick wrist shot that flew over McCollum’s glove for the 2-1 decision.

Grand Rapids pulled McCollum with 1:43 remaining in regulation for the extra attacker. However, the Griffins couldn’t put the puck into the net and the home team skated away with the victory.

Tom McCollum pushed aside 22 shots to drop his record to 10-11-3, while Anthony Peters stopped 32 shots to bring his record to 9-5-3-1.

The Griffins finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Penguins went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Three Stars: 1. WBS Czuczman (game-winning goal); 2. WBS Peters (W, 32 saves); 3. WBS Johnson (goal)