GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Iowa Wild 1
Dec. 18, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa – Despite losing many of their main contributors to the Detroit Red Wings over the last week, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Iowa Wild 2-1 in overtime at Wells Fargo Arena on Wednesday, earning their 18th win of the last 21 games of the campaign.
Cory Emmerton secured the game-winning goal in the extra five minutes, Brennan Evans recorded his first regular season goal since joining the Griffins and Tom McCollum blocked 30 shots to earn his third-straight victory and improve his record to 10-3.
The Griffins (20-5-1-1) and the Wild (10-13-2-0) finished the first 20 minutes of the game scoreless, with both teams producing an equal amount of pressure. Grand Rapids yielded two penalties to the Wild, a tripping call on Xavier Ouellet just 25 seconds into the contest and a slashing infraction against Triston Grant at 14:05, while Iowa suffered an interference call against Kyle Medvec at 6:13. The extra skater proved fruitless for both teams, and the Wild rounded out the period with a slight 8-6 shot advantage.
The scoring drought ended at 4:27 of the second period, courtesy of a quick wrist shot by Iowa’s Zack Phillips. Wild center Warren Peters won the puck off of the face off, driving it deep into the Grand Rapids zone. At the bottom of the right circle, Peters fed the puck to Phillips, who was waiting in front of the Griffins net, and he blasted the puck past the shoulder of McCollum to give the Wild a one-goal lead that held up for the duration of the second frame.
Grand Rapids finally cracked Kuemper at 12:11 of the third period to tie the score at 1-1. Calle Jarnkrok slid the puck to Evans on the blueline, and the defenseman slapped the puck past through traffic Kuemper, marking Evans’ first goal since his Calder Cup-clinching tally against the Syracuse Crunch in Game 6 of the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The teams remained knotted at 1-1 at the conclusion of the third period, despite a too many men call against the Griffins at 14:32, sending Grand Rapids to its first overtime since Oct. 19. The depleted Griffins continued their winning habit, however, when Emmerton notched the game-winning goal at 3:52 of the extra frame off of a pass from Mitch Callahan.
McCollum earned his 10th win of the season behind 30 saves, while Kuemper blocked 27 of 29 shots.
The Griffins will return to Van Andel Arena Friday night at 7 p.m. to face the Rockford IceHogs before traveling to Allstate Arena for a match against the Chicago Wolves on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST.
Notes: Tonight’s victory improved Grand Rapids’ overtime record to 1-1 this season after losing to the Toronto Marlies 4-3 in overtime on Oct. 5…Teemu Pulkkinen extended his team-leading point streak to eight games, while Emmerton improved his point streak to six games…The Griffins are now 3-0 against the Wild at Wells Fargo Arena, with each victory being decided by a single goal.
Three Stars: 1. GR McCollum (W, 30 saves); 2. GR Emmerton (one goal); 3. IA Kuemper (L, 27 saves)