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HEAT MISERS MELT GRIFFINS IN OVERTIME

Abbotsford Heat 4 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 OT

Dec. 21, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Former Griffin Clay Wilson put a shot through Joey MacDonald’s pads during a 2-on-1 rush 52 seconds into overtime on Wednesday to give the Abbotsford Heat a 4-3 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena.

Seconds after Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson had teamed up on a great scoring opportunity at the other end, Wilson scored a split-second before MacDonald was bowled over by fellow ex-Griffin Krys Kolanos, in another goaltender collision that has become an all-too-familiar scene for Grand Rapids this season.

While the Griffins (12-13-2-2) were unable to reach the 0.500 mark heading into the Christmas break or snap the visitors’ seven-game point streak, they earned a point for the eighth time in the last 10 games (5-2-1-2) and climbed into a tie with Lake Erie for third place in the North Division. Grand Rapids will return to action next Wednesday, Dec. 28 with a crucial 7 p.m. road clash against those Monsters.

A scoreless first period was nonetheless filled with end-to-end action, extended play between whistles and numerous scoring chances, ending with the Griffins holding a 16-9 advantage in shots.

Kolanos, who burned his old teammates with a hat trick in the Heat’s 5-1 win at Van Andel Arena on Oct. 28, took advantage of a fortunate bounce to give Abbotsford (20-8-2-0) the lead 2:33 into the second period. Ben Walter’s centering pass from the left side deflected off the skate of Greg Amadio and right to the stick of Kolanos, who quickly buried the puck from the slot.

Brent Raedeke answered for Grand Rapids at the 8:30 mark. Danny Taylor denied an attempt by Trevor Parkes from close quarters but allowed the puck to trickle behind him, and Raedeke crashed the crease to jam it home despite the efforts of two Heat defenders to keep it out of the net.

The deadlock lasted only 2:10, though, as Kolanos struck yet again to make it a 2-1 contest, getting a turnover low in the left circle and immediately whipping a shot inside the near post for his team-high 15th goal of the campaign.

The Griffins responded for a second time with 3:55 left in the frame, when Jamie Johnson sent a feed into the left circle for Tomas Tatar, who slammed the puck into a gaping cage.

Andersson potted a rebound from just outside the right post 20 seconds into the final period to give the Griffins their first lead at 3-2, before Abbotsford’s Quintin Laing slipped a shot inside MacDonald’s far post from the left side at 5:59 to forge the third tie of the contest. Kolanos earned an assist on the goal for his third point of the night.

MacDonald finished with 26 saves, while Taylor earned the win by turning aside 43 shots.

Three Stars: 1. ABB Kolanos (two goals, assist); 2. ABB Wilson (overtime goal, assist); 3. GR Tatar (goal)
 

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