GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 vs. Texas Stars 2
Jan. 6, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins snapped the Texas Stars’ 12-game point streak with a 4-2 win on Friday at Van Andel Arena.
Austin Czarnik recorded two goals, moving him into a tie with Pontus Andreasson for second place in goals scored by a Griffins’ skater this season. In his last six outings since returning to Grand Rapids, Czarnik has tallied eight points (3-5–8) while Andreasson has three points (2-1–3) in his last three contests after tallying the first goal of the game.
The Stars had the best chance of the initial frame, registering 1:09 of 5-on-3 ice time with six minutes remaining. The Griffins’ penalty kill allowed just one shot during Texas’ two-man advantage to keep the first period scoreless.
Andreasson kicked off scoring in the middle stanza, rocketing a shot from the slot off of the left post and into the cage at 3:54. With 4:07 remaining, Czarnik rifled the puck from the right circle into the top shelf just five seconds after a power play for Grand Rapids expired. Jakub Vrana tallied an assist on the goal, his first in a Griffins’ uniform to push the Griffins’ lead to 2-0.
Czarnik scored his second goal 3:53 into the final frame, stealing the puck and racing up ice to fire a shot from the right circle past Matthew Murray while shorthanded. On a power play at 9:28, Simon Edvinsson flung a shot from the blue line towards the goalmouth that Joel L’Esperance deflected in to take a 4-0 advantage.
Despite the Stars tacking on two goals late in the third from Mavrik Bourque on a power play at 17:54 and Curtis McKenzie with 1:20 to go, the Griffins held on to skate away with a 4-2 win.
- Texas has been limited to fewer than three goals just once in its last 12 games (3-2 OTL vs. Rockford on Dec. 21) and three times in its last 20.
- Alex Nedeljkovic continued his stretch of dominant play for Grand Rapids (0.952 save percentage in two games), bagging 33 saves on 35 shots.
- With a goal tonight, L’Esperance pushed his point streak to three games (2-1–3).
Texas 0 0 2 - 2
Grand Rapids 0 2 2 - 4
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Hanas Gr (tripping), 13:09; Kampfer Gr (delay of game), 14:00; Shea Tex (holding), 17:43.
2nd Period-1, Grand Rapids, Andreasson 9 (Pearson, Newpower), 3:54. 2, Grand Rapids, Czarnik 8 (Vrana, Hirose), 15:53. Penalties-Nedeljkovic Gr (holding the stick), 8:34; Petrovic Tex (slashing), 10:54; Kero Tex (hooking), 13:48.
3rd Period-3, Grand Rapids, Czarnik 9 3:53 (SH). 4, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 13 (Edvinsson, O’Regan), 9:28 (PP). 5, Texas, Bourque 6 (Laaksonen, Barber), 17:54 (PP). 6, Texas, McKenzie 14 (Stranges, Kero), 18:40. Penalties-Newpower Gr (roughing), 2:59; Studenic Tex (hooking), 7:41; Damiani Tex (slashing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:59; served by Stranges Tex (bench minor - too many men), 10:31; McIsaac Gr (slashing), 14:06; McIsaac Gr (elbowing), 16:37.
Shots on Goal-Texas 11-11-13-35. Grand Rapids 11-6-11-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Texas 1 / 6; Grand Rapids 1 / 7.
Goalies-Texas, Murray 8-5-1 (28 shots-24 saves). Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic 2-0-0 (35 shots-33 saves).
1. GR Czarnik (two goals); 2. GR Nedeljkovic (W, 33 saves); 3. GR Andreasson (goal).
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 13-17-1-0 (27 pts.) / Sat., Jan. 7 vs. Texas 7 p.m.
Texas: 19-8-4-2 (44 pts.) / Sat., Jan. 7 at Grand Rapids 6 p.m. CST
Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins