GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 at Oklahoma City Barons 4
Feb. 8, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Grand Rapids Griffins saw their shutout streak and three-game winning streak end in Oklahoma City on Friday as they fell to the Barons 4-3 at Cox Convention Center.
After the Griffins took a 3-1 lead, the Barons scored three unanswered goals to take the first of a two-game set in Oklahoma City. Grand Rapids recorded only 19 shots to Oklahoma City’s 37 in the loss.
The Griffins (27-15-2-2) grabbed the lead early in the first period as Luke Glendening tipped in a shot from Adam Almquist. Almquist fired a shot from the right point and screening in front, Glendening tipped the puck past Niko Hovinen, giving Grand Rapids a one-goal lead at 5:37 of the opening period.
The Barons (22-18-2-4) tied the game at 16:37 of the first period as Ryan Martindale scored his fourth goal of the season. Curtis Hamilton found Toni Rajala behind the net, and the left wing made a perfect pass to Martindale in front of Tom McCollum for the goal. It was the first goal the Griffins have allowed in 170:56, 13:11 off of the franchise-record shutout streak.
Glendening scored his second goal of the night at 2:19 of the second period. Jeff Hoggan’s shot hit the goal post and Glendening snatched up the rebound, sending a backhand shot past Hovinen to restore the Griffins’ one-goal lead.
Hoggan gave Grand Rapids a 3-1 advantage just over three minutes later. The Barons turned the puck over in the neutral zone and the Griffins capitalized on a three-on-two advantage. Hovinen made two saves on the break before Hoggan scooped up a rebound and snuck it by the goaltender at 5:41 of the second period.
Jonathan Cheechoo scored two straight goals to tie the game at three midway through the second period. The right wing sped down the wall and used his body to cut in front of Almquist and the net, shooting the puck past McCollum at 10:03.
Cheechoo’s second goal came on a power play just under three minutes later. The Griffins missed an opportunity to score a shorthanded goal and the Barons brought the puck back up the ice quickly to set up the right wing’s second goal. A quick pass from Taylor Fedun at the blue line to Cheechoo in front for his second of the night at 12:56 of the second period.
The Barons took their first lead of the game at 12:10 of the final period. Theo Peckham took a long wrist shot that was deflected by Phillippe Cornet into the upper right corner past McCollum.
The Griffins had an opportunity to even the score on a power play at 2:45 of the third period, but were unable to convert during the final minutes of play.
McCollum recorded 33 saves while Hovinen earned the victory behind 16 saves.
The Griffins will stay in Oklahoma City for the second of a two-game series tomorrow at 8 p.m. EST.
Three Stars: 1. OKC Cheechoo (two goals); 2. GR Glendening (two goals); 3. OKC Cornet (game-winning goal)