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A STRUGGLE IN TORONTO


TORONTO
–  After taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the first period, the Grand Rapids Griffins were handed a 3-2 loss by the Toronto Marlies at the Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. 

The loss puts Grand Rapids at 1-1-0-0 to start the season, and they travel to Austin, Texas on Thursday for their first ever match up against the Stars.  The face off is set for 8:30 p.m. EDT at the Cedar Park Center.

The Griffins struck first when Jeremy Williams notched an unassisted goal against his former team at 13:35 of the first period. From just inside the blue line, Williams picked off a Toronto breakout attempt and walked in on the right wing side to put a wrist shot over the glove of James Reimer.

Grand Rapids then claimed a two-goal lead in the final second of the opening period. Matias Ritola carried the puck out of the left corner, and drawing coverage to the middle of the rink, he left a drop pass for Doug Janik who unleashed a one-time rocket for his first goal as a Griffin.

In the second period, Toronto cut their deficit in half when standout Jiri Tlusti scored at the 11:28 mark. Carl Gunnarsson corralled the puck deep in the Griffins zone, and sent a pass to Tlusti who was waiting patiently in the slot. With plenty of time and space, Tlusti used a forehand-backhand move to beat Daniel Larsson.

Toronto scored the equalizer at 19:41 of the second period. Juraj Mikus picked up the puck at the top of the right circle, and put a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net to beat Larsson, who was screened by a gathering in front of his crease.

Both teams had ample opportunity to take the lead in the final 20 minutes. The Marlies had a two-man advantage midway through the third period, but Larsson stood strong, stopping a flurry of shots under strong pressure. Finally, with just :36 remaining in regulation, Toronto took their first lead of the night. Tlusty entered the Griffins’ zone along the left side boards, and centered a pass to Andre Deveaux who tipped the puck through Larsson’s pads for the eventual game-winner.

Reimer made 27 saves in net for Toronto (2-0-0-0), while Larsson turned aside 30 shots in the Griffins’ loss.

Three Stars: 1. TOR Deveaux (GW goal); 2. TOR Tlusti (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. TOR Mikus (1 goal).

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



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