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BUMP IN THE ROAD


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Grand Rapids Griffins overcame an early 3-0 deficit, but fell 5-3 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza on Wednesday. The Griffins, in the midst of a franchise-record eight-game road trip, tied the game early in the third period before the Penguins scored twice late to win.

Darren Haydar scored his 200th professional goal, extending his scoring streak to a Griffins’ season-high three games, while Francis Pare chipped in two assists. Daniel Larsson started in net for the Griffins (41-19-6-6) and turned aside 25 shots. John Curry stopped 31 shots, including some key saves midway through the third, to earn the win.

The Penguins jumped on the scoreboard 7:24 into the first period when Luca Caputi pounced on the rebound of a Connor James shot and one-timed it home from the left side. Then, Jeff Taffe banged home a loose puck from the slot for a power-play goal with 2:59 left in the opening period, making it 2-0 in favor of the Penguins. The Griffins almost cut the lead to one before the period ended, but play was blown dead right before Cory Emmerton swept the puck into an empty net.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made it a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play when Chris Minard converted during a scrum in front of the net. His 32nd goal of the season made it 3-0 Penguins with 13:29 left in the middle stanza.

Haydar’s 200th professional goal at 14:59 of the second made the score 3-1. With one second left in a power play, Pare put the puck in front of the net and Haydar slammed it past Curry for the Griffins’ first goal of the game. Aaron Gagnon’s goal 3:05 later made it a one-goal game. Francis Lemieux feathered a pass through multiple Penguins defenders and Gagnon walked in alone on Curry before going high on the glove side.

Emmerton made it a whole new hockey game 52 seconds into the third period with his eighth goal of the campaign. Haydar wrapped around the net and threw the puck into the crease, where Emmerton capitalized to tie the contest at 3-3.

Curry and the Penguins withstood heavy pressure from the Griffins until Janne Pesonen broke the tie with a wrist shot from the left circle at 12:33 of the third period. Pesonen notched his second goal of the night 3:49 later. After a save by Larsson, the puck came loose on the right side of the net and Pesonen took it around the back and then jammed it inside the left post.

Three Stars: 1. WBS Pesonen (2 goals); 2. WBS Taffe (Goal, 2 assists); 3. WBS James (2 assists)

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3
Official Game Report


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