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POWER OUTAGE



PEORIA, Ill. – Special teams were critical for the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night, as a 2-for-13 power play and a team-record six goals allowed on the penalty kill spelled a barn-burning 7-4 defeat to the Peoria Rivermen at Carver Arena.

Jay McClement got the Rivermen going early, following up a huge rebound off a shot from the right point to give Peoria a 1-0 lead at 5:05 of the first period.

Despite earning five power play chances in a single period for the fourth time this season, the Griffins failed to convert in the first. Grand Rapids ended their three-game road trip just 3-for-26 on the man-advantage.

Another rebound chance for Peoria resulted in a late power play strike, as Jon DiSalvatore cleaned up a quick Colin Hemingway shot with just 14 seconds remaining in the period to make the score 2-0 at the break.

At 6:23 of the second, rookie forward Ryan Oulahen took the puck out from behind the net and threaded the needle from a wicked angle on the right side to register his second goal of the year and cut the deficit to 2-1.

The floodgates opened for the Rivermen soon after, as they sandwiched five more power play goals around Jiri Hudler’s 15th goal of the year and sprinted out to a 7-2 lead. Consecutive tallies by DiSalvatore, Mike Glumac, and Andy Roach proved to be the deciding margin, before Trent Whitfield and Peter Sejna poured salt on the Griffins’ wounds with two third-period markers of their own.

Oulahen added his second score of the night at 9:29 of the third for the first multi-goal game of his professional career, and Matt Ellis notched his sixth goal of the season on the power play in the late-going.

Grand Rapids slips to 16-5-0-2 with the loss, yet remains in first place in the North by a one-point margin over Manitoba with three games in hand. The Griffins return home after playing a stretch of seven out of eight games on the road, as they welcome the Milwaukee Admirals to Van Andel Arena. Faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.


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