10/16/2011 5:47 PM
Oct. 16, 2011 - GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Rochester Americans 7
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Americans lit the red light early and often and handed the Grand Rapids Griffins a 7-2 loss on Sunday night at Blue Cross Arena.
The quick-strike Americans got out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period. With Garnet Exelby serving a penalty for interference, Rochester’s Derek Whitmore tipped a pass by Jonathan Parker past goaltender Jordan Pearce at 6:23. Parker also set up the second Americans tally, when Marcus Foligno deposited his second goal of the season at the 8:51 mark.
The Griffins cut the lead in half after Chris Conner fed Gustav Nyquist for his second goal of the season. Conner sped down the right wing and froze former Griffins goaltender Drew MacIntyre with a quick fake before feeding Nyquist, who made no mistake in finding the open net to get the Griffins on the board at 11:53.
The Americans capitalized on one more opportunity before the end of the first period. Moments after Pearce denied a bid by Whitmore on a shorthanded two-on-one, Parker one-timed a pass from captain Colin Stuart to extend the Americans’ lead to 3-1 at 16:46.
The Griffins came out in the second period eager to swing the momentum back their way. Defenseman Greg Amadio took on Rochester’s Joe Finley, the biggest player in the AHL at 6-8, 260 pounds, in a short but spirited scrap. Mitch Callahan was thwarted on a shorthanded breakaway moments later by the acrobatic efforts of MacIntyre. Minutes later, Tomas Tatar banged home a rebound off a play set up by Conner to pull the Griffins within one at 8:22.
However, Rochester pulled away with two more quick goals to dampen the Griffins’ comeback hopes. Rookie Zack Kassian buried his second goal of the season at 9:12 to restore the Americans' two-goal lead. Just 93 seconds later, Stuart notched his second goal of the night to make the score 5-2.
A Griffins timeout proved ineffective in slowing the Americans, as Jacob Lagace put Grand Rapids down by four with his first tally of the season at 16:06. Kassian capped off the scoring with his second goal of the night, beating Pearce at 12:34 of the third period to secure the 7-2 final.
The Griffins were unable to convert on a late-game five-minute power play, partially due to the strong goaltending of MacIntyre. MacIntyre turned aside 30 of 32 Griffins shots, while Pearce stopped 25 of 32 for Grand Rapids in a losing effort.
The Griffins will now embark to Hamilton for the second leg a season-long five-game road trip, set for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Notes: The Griffins played most of the game with 11 forwards. Brent Raedeke was gashed with a high stick off a faceoff early in the first period but returned for the second. Early in the second, the Americans' Corey Tropp hit forward Landon Ferraro with an elbow to the head away from the play, drawing an interference call at 5:41. The dazed Ferraro needed to be helped off the ice and did not return…Rookie Trevor Parkes was awarded a penalty shot at 14:34 of the second after Rochester’s Brayden McNabb closed his glove on a loose puck in the crease, but he did not score…Forward Adam Estoclet made his Griffins debut, recording one shot.
Three Stars: 1. RCH Kassian (two goals); 2. RCH Parker (game-winning goal, two assists); 3. RCH Stuart (one goal, two assists)
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