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Nov. 28, 2010 – Peoria Rivermen 3 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins were unable to translate a second-straight strong effort on home ice into a victory on Sunday evening, as the Peoria Rivermen rallied from a pair of deficits to escape Van Andel Arena with a 3-2 win.

The Griffins fired 38 shots at rookie Jake Allen, the AHL’s top-ranked netminder in terms of both goals against average (1.27) and save percentage (0.962), but they could solve him only twice en route to their seventh one-goal loss at home this season.

Grand Rapids (9-9-0-4), which was denied in its attempt to earn points in all three of its games this weekend, will kick off a busy December by visiting Milwaukee on Friday at 8 p.m.

The Griffins took advantage of an odd carom behind the Peoria net to score the game’s first goal 6:59 into the first period. A Peoria player tried to wrap the puck around the boards from the right corner, but it hit a seem in the end boards and bounced out to the right of the net and onto the stick of Brent Raedeke, who quickly put a shot inside the near post. The goal, the Griffins’ first in an opening period at home since Nov. 6, also gave them their first lead on home ice since that date.

The Rivermen (14-7-1-1) evened the score at the 10:25 mark. Nathan Oystrick’s laser from the point hit both the left and right posts behind Thomas McCollum and stayed out, but Anthony Peluso found the rebound at the top of the crease and tallied his first goal of the campaign.

Jamie Tardif put the Griffins back on top at 2-1 by finishing off a shorthanded breakaway at 11:12 of the second period, giving him three goals in the last two games. Joakim Andersson knocked the puck ahead to Tardif at center ice, and he sped in alone on Allen before slipping a shot between the goalie’s pads.

Minutes later, a puck misplayed by McCollum soon found the back of his net. Ryan Reaves gained control below the Grand Rapids goal line and skated to the left corner before sending a long pass across to Phil McRae, who connected on a one-timer from the right circle at 13:52 to knot the score at 2-2.

Peoria took its only lead on what proved to be the game-winning goal 6:38 into the third period, when Stefan Della Rovere lifted his own rebound over McCollum from the bottom of the right circle. The Griffins had two subsequent power plays plus several chances in the final minutes to net the equalizer, but Allen stood his ground to improve to 8-1 on the season.

McCollum finished with 26 saves in the loss.

Three Stars: 1. PEO Della Rovere (game-winning goal); 2. GR Tardif (shorthanded goal); 3. PEO Allen (W, 36 saves)

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