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HOUSE OF HORRORS


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Goals by Michael Nylander, Evan McGrath and Patrick Rissmiller in the final 10 minutes of the third period lifted the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over the Houston Aeros on Friday and a sweep of their two-game set at Van Andel Arena.

Thomas McCollum turned aside 32 shots to out-duel Houston’s Wade Dubielewicz and give the Griffins their first five-game winning streaks both at home and overall since February 2007.

The Griffins (6-4-0-0) will conclude their season-high six-game homestand next Friday, Nov. 6 when they host Chris Chelios, Manny Legace and the Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m.

After an uneventful first 20 minutes, Houston’s Robbie Earl scored 1:58 into the second period from close range to break the Griffins’ shutout streak of 145:09 against the Aeros on home ice. Houston (6-6-0-0) had been blanked in two straight visits to Van Andel Arena, with its last goal coming late in a 4-1 win over Grand Rapids back on April 4, 2008.

Dubielewicz looked well on the way to a shutout of his own, denying 21 Griffins shots over the game’s first 50 minutes, until Grand Rapids pulled even with 9:39 remaining. Nylander, playing the final game of his conditioning stint with the Griffins, struck one second after a Griffins power play expired, finding Mattias Ritola’s cross-crease feed and banging a shot off Dubielewicz and into the back of the net from the right goal line. Nylander finished his Griffins stay showing one goal, five power-play assists and a plus-one rating in five appearances.

The Griffins took their first lead of the night with just 4:34 remaining. Cory Emmerton carried the puck along the right boards and sent a pass across to McGrath, who lost the handle momentarily before ripping a shot into the top right corner of the net. Rissmiller then added an empty-netter, his 100th pro goal, at 18:49 for the final margin.

Grand Rapids, which has allowed a total of only two goals in its last three games, moved two games over 0.500 for the first time this season.

Three Stars: 1. GR McGrath (game-winning goal); 2. GR McCollum (32 saves, W); 3. HOU Dubielewicz (26 saves, L)
 

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