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THE LONELIEST NUMBER


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Another game, another one-goal output by the Grand Rapids Griffins, who now trail the Manitoba Moose three games to none in the North Division Finals after a 3-1 loss at Van Andel Arena on Monday.

Grand Rapids, which has been held to fewer than two goals in three consecutive playoff games for the first time ever, will try to join the two AHL teams and two NHL clubs that have rallied to win a series after trailing 0-3. The feat was famously accomplished by the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders, as well as the 1960 Rochester Americans and the 1989 Adirondack Red Wings.

For close-to-home inspiration, the Griffins need only look back 10 years and behind their bench to head coach Curt Fraser, whose 1998-99 Orlando Solar Bears became the first team in IHL history to overcome a 0-3 deficit, rallying to defeat the Detroit Vipers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Grand Rapids will attempt to take the first step on Wednesday, when they host Game 4 at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.

For the second straight game, the Moose scored early in the opening period to take the upper hand. Chasing down a Mark Fistric pass in the slot, Matt Pope patiently skated to the right of the net and waited until he was below the circle to pop a shot over Jimmy Howard from a sharp angle at the 8:06 mark.

Grand Rapids squandered three power play opportunities before Alexandre Bolduc staked Manitoba to a 2-0 lead with just 32 seconds left in the period. Similar to his shorthanded goal from Game 2, he came out from the end boards to the right of the net and slipped a shot through a crowd for his third goal and fifth point of the series.

The Griffins scored their lone goal with 7:31 remaining in the middle frame when Francis Pare notched his second of the series, finishing off a 2-on-1 with Francis Lemieux by going top shelf on Cory Schneider.

Schneider was perfect the rest of the night, though, finishing with 22 saves to trump Howard’s 25 stops and help the Moose deny Grand Rapids on all six of its power play chances. Jason Jaffray scored into an empty net with 24 seconds remaining for the final margin.

Three Stars: 1. MTB Bolduc (game-winning goal); 2. MTB Jaffray (goal, two assists); 3. GR Pare (goal)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2 3
Photo Gallery
Official Game Report


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