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SEVEN, EIGHT, LAY THEM STRAIGHT

Kris Newbury steams down the ice.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins maintained their status as the AHL’s only perfect home team at 7-0 and ran their overall winning streak to eight with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Lake Erie Monsters on Wednesday afternoon at Van Andel Arena.

An enthusiastic, student-dominated crowd of 7,421 cheered as Daniel Larsson made 26 stops in regulation and overtime before denying all five Lake Erie attempts in the shootout. Meanwhile, Kris Newbury snapped a shot past Trevor Cann in round five for the lone goal of the skills competition, as the Griffins improved their all-time record in their annual matinee game to 7-2.

The Griffins (9-4-0-0), who continued their climb up the North Division standings by moving into a tie for fourth place with Manitoba, will look to extend their winning streaks on Friday when the Milwaukee Admirals visit at 7 p.m.

On the heels of Grand Rapids’ crazy 8-6 win at Lake Erie on Sunday, the Griffins’ power play accounted for the only goal of the first period. After taking a pass from Jakub Kindl along the right boards, Newbury patiently surveyed the ice and floated to the top of the circle before threading a perfect backdoor pass to Jeremy Williams, who slammed home his team-high eighth goal of the campaign from the bottom of the left circle at 18:23.

That helper gave Newbury a career-high six-game assist streak, tying for the AHL’s longest this season and moving within two games of Valtteri Filppula’s franchise-record eight-game assist streak (March 26-Oct. 13, 2006).

Lake Erie (6-8-0-1) had a great chance to get even midway through the second period, when a run of Grand Rapids penalties gave the Monsters 1:35 of 5-on-3 power play time plus an additional 2:25 of a one-man advantage, but Larsson and the Griffins’ penalty killers held firm, eventually denying all five Lake Erie chances during the game.

Grand Rapids maintained that 1-0 lead until just 6:38 remained in the third, when Brock Bradford popped a shot over Larsson’s glove from just below the right hashmarks to force overtime.

Cann made 34 saves in the losing effort.

Three Stars: 1. GR Larsson (26 saves, W); 2. GR Newbury (assist, SO-winning goal); 3. LE Cann (34 saves, SOL)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
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Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2 3
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