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HEATING UP

GR 5, ABB 2

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 5 at Abbotsford Heat 2

March 1, 2014

ABBOTSFORD, B.C.
— The Grand Rapids Griffins fought back from a two-goal deficit in the first period and topped the Abbotsford Heat, 5-2, to move into first place in the Western Conference on Saturday at Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.

In the final regular season matchup between the two teams, the Griffins walk away with three wins in four meetings.

Max Reinhart solved Tom McCollum twice in the first period, with goals at 1:23 and 19:48. Dean Arsene’s shot from the left point hit off Reinhart behind the net, and bounced forward to deflect off the back of McCollum into the goal. Reinhart sniped his second tally into the top shelf from a tight angle to McCollum’s right to give Abbotsford (33-18-4-2) a two-goal advantage.

Reinhart also scored twice in Friday’s meeting between the two teams, in which the Griffins defeated the Heat, 4-3, in a shootout.

Grand Rapids had a chance to tie the game 3:04 into the first frame when the puck jumped over the shoulder of former Griffin Joey MacDonald (2002-07, 2010-12) and fell behind him onto the goal line. The play was reviewed, and it was ruled no goal.

Petr Mrazek started the second period in relief of McCollum, who turned away 8 of 10 shots. Mrazek eventually saved all 14 shots he faced.

The Griffins dominated the second period, outshooting the Heat 20-6. Andrej Nestrasil put Grand Rapids on the board at 13:20 when he sent a bullet from the high slot and beat MacDonald in the upper right corner.

Jeff Hoggan evened the score 4:34 into the third period with a stuffed puck into the lower right corner from behind the Heat net.

About four minutes later, Jordin Tootoo sent a cross-ice pass to Nick Jensen at the left point, who controlled the puck before slamming a slap shot. David McIntyre was at the doorstep to redirect the shot in for the 3-2 lead at 8:39.

With 5:49 remaining, Tootoo scored with a quick wrist shot from the top of the right circle off a pass from McIntyre.

MacDonald, who finished with 37 saves, was pulled for an extra skater in the final minutes, and Teemu Pulkkinen scored on an empty net at 18:19 for his fifth goal in three games. Jensen was awarded the primary assist on Pulkkinen’s tally, earning him his first three points as a Griffin in two consecutive games.

The Griffins return home to take on the Midwest Division opponent Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Grand Rapids (35-17-2-3, 75 pts.) leads the division, but the Wolves (32-17-4-2, 70 pts.) trail only five points behind.

Three Stars: 1. ABB Reinhart (two goals); 2. GR Jensen (two assists); 3. GR Hoggan (goal)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights: Hoggan goal McIntyre goal Tootoo goal
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

 



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