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GRIFFINS CRUISE AFTER EARLY BUMP IN THE ROAD


DES MOINES, Iowa – The Grand Rapids Griffins, unfazed by an early 2-0 deficit, used a second-period scoring surge to rally past the Iowa Stars and claim a 3-2 victory Saturday at the Wells Fargo Arena.

The Griffins (19-23-2-5) resume their six-game road swing Friday in Cleveland, where they face the Lake Erie Monsters at 7:30 p.m. EST.

A pair of first-period power play goals provided an early cushion for the Stars (22-24-2-2). Marty Sertich put Iowa on the board at 3:46, knocking Konstantin Pushkarev’s crossing pass past Adam Berkhoel’s left shoulder from the doorstep. Chris Conner provided the second tally, corralling and converting a rebound at point-blank range from at 11:11.

Berkhoel, however, proved impenetrable for the remainder of the game, turning away 29 shots by game’s end.

Grand Rapids countered Iowa’s early efforts with an opening-period power play goal of its own when Carl Corazzini and Darrell Hay set up Mark Hartigan, who went top shelf with a wrist shot from the slot to cut Iowa’s advantage to 2-1 at 16:27.

Late in the second period, the Griffins stormed into the lead with a pair of goals in a 44-second span. With a three-on-two break, Randall Gelech sent the equalizer past Tobias Stephan from the right point at 17:42. Moments later, a Grand Rapids shot sailed wide but caromed off the boards and onto Stephan’s doorstep where Darren Helm netted the game-winner.

Grand Rapids played penalty-free hockey in the final frame, providing Iowa no assistance in its comeback bid. Berkhoel turned in an outstanding third period to protect the one-goal margin, and the Griffins withstood the Stars’ late onslaught when Stephan was pulled for an extra attacker.

Berkhoel picked up the win despite seeing his first action since Jan. 12. Hay and Tyler Redenbach each recorded an assist, marking both players’ first point in a Griffins uniform.


Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3
Official Game Report

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