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HELD UP IN HOUSTON


HOUSTON – The Grand Rapids Griffins were unable to climb out of a 4-1 deficit on Sunday, suffering a 5-3 loss to the Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center.

With the loss, the Griffins (18-12-0-1) finished an 8-in-12 run in which they posted a 4-3-0-1 record. They will return to Van Andel Arena on Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. face off against the Chicago Wolves.

Patrick Rissmiller gave Grand Rapids a 1-0 lead just 4:40 into regulation when he took a pass from John Vigilante at the left face off circle and slipped a shot between the pads of Wade Dubielewicz.

Houston (16-13-2-1) managed to even the score before the opening period expired. Maxim Noreau rushed in to the Griffins’ zone and made an abrupt stop at the hash mark, before firing a wrist shot that made its way through the legs of Daniel Larsson at 14:46.

In the middle frame, the Aeros took a commanding 4-1 lead, starting when Andy Hilbert took a cross-ice pass from Jean-Michel Daoust and put a quick shot into the short side of the net at the 2:56 mark. Houston built their lead to two goals when Duncan Milroy fished the puck out of a crowd in front of the Griffins goal crease, and jammed home a close-range shot at 6:29. Then, with just 54 seconds remaining in the period, Jon DiSalvatore weaved into the Griffins’ zone and cut toward the middle of the rink, from where he buried a wrist shot into the left side of the net.

Grand Rapids came out strong in the third period, and their power play brought them within two goals of Houston just 1:48 in to the stanza. From the point, Rissmiller fed a pass to Logan Pyett, who blasted a slap shot through Debielewicz from the top of the left circle.

At 5:37, Evan McGrath caught a pass from Francis Pare in the slot, and went top shelf for a goal that closed the margin to 3-4.

The Griffins carried the play to Houston throughout the rest of the third period, but were unable to notch the equalizer. With 39 second remaining on the clock, Tomas McCollum was pulled for an extra attacker, however Grand Rapids was unable to establish Houston’s zone, and gave up an empty net goal to Noreau at 19:37.

Larsson made 15 saves through the first 40 minutes, before he was replaced by McCollum at the beginning of the third period. McCollum stopped all five of the shots he faced, while Dubielewicz made 24 saves in the win for Houston.

Three Stars: 1. HOU Milroy (1 goal, 1 assist); 2. HOU DiSalvatore (GW goal); 3. HOU Irmen (3 assists).


Griffins Game Rewind
AHLlive Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights: Rissmiller goal   McGrath goal
Official Game Report


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