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LAST-MINUTE HEROICS


MANCHESTER, N.H.– Mattias Ritola scored the game-winning goal with 49.5 seconds remaining in the third period to propel the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 2-1 win against the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Ritola and Darren Haydar both recorded a goal and an assist in the Griffins’ first-ever trip to Manchester.

Jimmy Howard stopped 26-of-27 shots to win his second consecutive game in net for the Griffins (21-8-7-3), while Jeff Zatkoff allowed just two goals on 32 shots during the losing effort.

Both goaltenders played exceptionally well through the first two periods, keeping the score deadlocked at 0-0. Haydar broke the scoreless tie with his goal 2:15 into the third period. Tom Galvin wound up and shot a pass to the left edge of the crease, where a waiting Haydar slammed it into the open net for a 1-0 Griffins lead.

That lead lasted just 46 seconds until Davis Drewiski unleashed a slap shot from the point at 3:01 of the third that found the back of the net off a Griffin defender, marking the second goal in the third after 42:15 of scoreless hockey.

With 49 seconds remaining in the contest, Ritola put the Griffins ahead 2-1 when he scored off a rebound. Haydar rocketed a shot from the high slot that Zatkoff kicked away with his right pad. Ritola crashed the net and banged the rebound into the yawning cage for the game-winning goal.

The Griffins held the Monarchs to just four shots on goal during the third period en route to the win. For the fifth consecutive game, Grand Rapids killed every power play opportunity that its opponent had. During that streak, the Griffins have successfully killed off 18 straight power plays. The Griffins have also earned a point in every game this season in which they have allowed two or less goals (14-0-0-3).

Three Stars: 1. GR Ritola (Game-winning goal, assist); 2. MAN Zatkoff (30 saves); 3. GR Howard (26 saves)

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Official Game Report



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