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NOT WITHOUT A POINT


ROCHESTER, N.Y.
– Darryl Bootland scored with just 14 seconds remaining to force overtime, but Mark Mancari notched his second of the night and the game winner 1:42 into the extra session during a power play, handing the Grand Rapids Griffins a 3-2 loss to the Rochester Americans Wednesday night at Blue Cross Arena.

Now 0-5 in overtime decisions this season, Grand Rapids dropped to 1-6-1 in their last eight visits to the Blue Cross Arena and will look to better that record Sunday evening, but will first make a stop in Syracuse to battle the Crunch Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

The scoreboard remained blank until newcomer Ben Simon netted his first goal as a Griffin at 7:31 of the second period, backhanding the puck through Adam Berkhoel’s pads after Derek Meech threaded a pass to him on the power play. Jonas Johansson also assisted on the goal to earn his first point in a Grand Rapids uniform.

Rochester managed to gain a 2-1 lead before the end of the frame as the lucky bounces went against the Griffins during the second 10 minutes. 

Shortly after Berkhoel robbed Ryan Oulahen with a desperate glove hand, Chaz Johnson trickled a rebound past Stefan Liv at 13:38 to tie the contest.

Following a blocked Griffins’ clearing attempt, Mancari notched the go-ahead goal at 18:17 when he snapped a shot inside the right post off a pass from Greg Jacina at the right circle.

The Griffins put pressure on the Americans in the final period, holding them to just three shots and forced overtime in the waning seconds of the game with their own net empty. Bootland scored the equalizer with a mere 14 ticks remaining when he crashed the net and pounded the puck over the goal line to ensure his Griffins a crucial point against their North Division foe.

But the second point went to Rochester at the 1:42 mark of the extra session as Mancari tallied his second goal of the night on the power play with a blast into the upper left corner that Liv never saw. 

Berkhoel stood strong in the Americans’ net, backstopping 26 while Liv racked up 16 for Grand Rapids.


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