TORONTO – Four Griffins enjoyed three-point outings to pace Grand Rapids to a 7-2 route over the Toronto Marlies at the Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday.
Jan Mursak, Kris Newbury, Francis Pare, and Patrick Rissmiller each recorded a goal and an assist, while Jeremy Williams picked up his 200th AHL point on the Griffins first goal of the game, stretching his point streak to a season-high four games.
Tonight’s win kicked off a five-game road trip for Grand Rapids, which continues on Tuesday with an 8:00 p.m. tilt with the Peoria Rivermen at the Carver Arena.
The Griffins (17-10-0-0) struck first when Pare, who went scoreless through his first 21 games of the season, scored his third goal in his last four games at 3:58 of the opening period. During a three-on-two rush, Williams centered a pass for Pare, which he slammed home from just below the hash mark.
The Marlies (12-10-2-2) tied the game at 1-1 after they forced a turnover in the neutral zone, and stormed into the Griffins’ zone to finish a play that ended with Andre Deveaux scoring on a close-range shot at 10:02.
Grand Rapids went back on top when Newbury and Williams teamed up for a go-ahead goal at 13:05. From the high slot, Williams ripped a shot that was blocked by Andrew Engelage, before Newbury gathered the rebound at the top of the crease and used a quick move to his forehand to tap the puck in to the yawning net.
The Griffins built their lead to two goals when they capitalized on a three-on-two rush just 1:27 in to the second period. Mursak entered the Marlies’ zone on the right wing side, and centered a pass to Tomas Tatar, who pulled the puck to his backhand for a shot that beat a sliding Engelage.
A fight between Paul Crosty and Richard Greenop at 4:52 ignited the Griffins offense for the remainder of the second period. After several quality chances, and strong pressure on the Marlies’ defense, Grand Rapids notched two goals in :34. Logan Pyett scored at 16:38, and Rissmiller buried Andy Delmore’s rebound at 17:12 to cap off a four goal second period that put the Griffins ahead by a 5-1 count.
The Griffins’ five goals on 15 shots chased Engelage from the Marlies’ net, and made way for Adam Munro at the start of the third period.
Toronto made the score 5-2 at 3:19 when Brendan Mikkelson attempted a centering pass that tipped off a Grand Rapids defenseman and into the Griffins’ net.
Then, at 17:54, Mursak scored off a nice feed from Pare, before Pyett stabbed the final dagger with his second goal of the night at 19:47.
Thomas McCollum made 23 saves for the Griffins, while Munro turned aside eight shots in the final 20 minutes for Toronto.
To represent Slovakia in the World Junior Championships, Tatar will be out of the Griffins’ lineup until early January.
Three Stars: 1. GR Newbury (1 goal, 2 assists); 2. GR Williams (2 assists); 3. GR Pare (1 goal, 2 assists).