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ONE STREAK ENDS, ANOTHER CONTINUES


HARTFORD, Conn.– Francis Pare extended his goal-scoring streak to a season-high three games as the Grand Rapids Griffins opened the 2009 calendar year with a loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-1 on Friday night at the XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The loss was the Griffins’ first in regulation during the last nine games.

Both teams’ goaltenders played well during the game and earned first and second star honors. Daniel Larsson lost in regulation for the first time in 14 games (10-1-1-1) and was named the game’s second star after stopping 30-of-32 shots. Miika Wiikman got the win in net for the Wolf Pack and earned first star honors, stopping 31 shots. The Griffins (20-8-4-3) remain in first place, as they entered the night two points ahead of second-place Manitoba.

Larsson and Wiikman kept both teams off the scoreboard for exactly half of the game before Brodie Dupont broke the scoreless tie at 10:01 of the second period. Artem Anisimov skated into the Griffin zone with good speed a wristed a shot from the left side that trickled through Larsson’s pads. Dupont crashed the net and jammed the puck home to make the score 1-0 in favor of the Wolf Pack.

Pare tied the game 1-1 with a power-play goal just 4:43 after the Hartford goal. Francis Lemieux took a pass from Evan McGrath and charged down the left side before leaving a pass to the right side of the crease. Pare picked up the puck and went top shelf from in close to even the score. Pare and McGrath are both currently holding three-game point streaks, and Pare has recorded 13 points in his last nine games.

The Wolf Pack took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Mike Oullette at the 10:49 mark of the third period. Tom Pyatt controlled the puck on the right side of the net and slid a pass across the crease to an open Oullette, who shot the puck into the open left side of the net to put Hartford back on top. An empty-net goal by Pierre Parenteau with 29 seconds remaining in the third period iced the game with the Wolf Pack ahead by the score of 3-1.

Three Stars: 1. HFD Wiikman (31 saves); 2. GR Larsson (30 saves); 3. HFD Oullette (Game-winning goal)

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlight
Official Game Report


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