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WHITE LIGHTNING



TORONTO – For the fifth straight game, the Grand Rapids Griffins allowed at least four goals – and for the fifth straight game, the Griffins found themselves on the short end of the scoreboard in a 6-3 loss to the Toronto Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum Saturday night.

The Marlies struck first on an Ian White blast from the top of the right circle at 3:16, the team’s very first shot on net in the contest. Kris Newbury and Brett Engelhardt registered helpers on the play for a 1-0 Toronto lead.

Rookie Griffins defenseman Clay Wilson atoned for a costly turnover the night before against Rochester with a timely power play marker to square the score at a goal apiece at 7:45 of the first. Tomas Kopecky garnered the assist with a soft touch pass at the point, which Wilson one-timed with a full-power slapshot.

Toronto stormed back, chasing goaltender Joey MacDonald with successive power play goals – the first coming on a 5-on-3 from Jeremy Williams at 11:44, the second by Brett Engelhardt from a sharp angle over the blocker shoulder of MacDonald at 13:00. Drew MacIntyre assumed netminding duties for the remainder of the night.

Grand Rapids emerged from the first intermission down 3-1, and began the second period with plenty of pressure on Marlies backstop Jean-Sebastien Aubin. Despite out-shooting Toronto by a 7-1 margin in the early portion of the frame, Ian White notched his second goal of the game as the Marlies capitalized on their third power play in three tries to make it 4-1.

John Mitchell helped the home team put a stranglehold on the Griffins at 11:32 of the middle stanza, logging his second goal of the campaign with help from Jay Harrison and Engelhardt’s third point of the game for a 5-1 advantage.

The Griffins showed ample grit to begin the third, attacking with relentless energy and generating a quick score for their efforts. A point shot by Kyle Quincey was immediately powered in by a well-positioned Matt Ellis in front of the crease. Kopecky added his second assist of the night on Ellis’s eighth goal of the year. Ryan Oulahen scored his fourth of the season with 4:28 to go on a nifty pass from Eric Manlow to cut the deficit to 5-3, but the Griffins would draw no closer. John Pohl added a short-handed empty-netter for the final winning margin for Toronto.

Grand Rapids takes a season-long five-game losing streak into Syracuse Sunday for a 5 p.m. faceoff with the Crunch. The Griffins remain in second place behind Manitoba in the North Division with four games in hand.


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