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GRIFFINS STRIKE BACK

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 5 at Houston Aeros 2

March 11, 2012

HOUSTON –
The Grand Rapids Griffins avoided a season series sweep and earned two crucial points in the Western Conference playoff race with a 5-2 victory over the Houston Aeros on Sunday evening at the Toyota Center.

After a scoreless first period, the Aeros (29-20-3-9) got on the board first for the second consecutive night. A loose puck in front of the Griffins net led to several scoring chances for Houston, and Jarod Palmer eventually knocked the game’s opening goal past Ty Conklin at 3:42.

Thirty-one seconds later, Gustav Nyquist, assigned to the Griffins (26-23-6-4) by the Red Wings earlier today, stripped an Aeros defender and knotted the game at one after beating Aeros goaltender Joe Fallon on a breakway. The goal moved Nyquist into a tie with Glen Metropolit for the most points ever by a Griffins rookie. Nyquist has 55 points (20-35—55) this season, tying the mark set by Metropolit in 1997-98.

The teams exchanged goals midway through the second frame. Captain Garnet Exelby put the Griffins ahead at 7:36 with a blast that handcuffed Fallon, but Jon DiSalvatore scored his third goal in two days to even the game at two with 11:32 remaining in the period.

Jamie Johnson put the Griffins ahead for good at 18:41. Johnson combined with Chris Conner and one-timed his 19th goal of the season past Fallon to give the Griffins a 3-2 lead.

Conner and Francis Pare provided the insurance for Grand Rapids in the 5-2 win. Conner beat Fallon on an unassisted breakaway at 16:02 of the third period, and Pare added an empty netter at 19:25 to cap off the scoring. Pare’s goal gives him 75 career goals, tying him with Kip Miller for third place in Griffins history.

Conklin made 23 saves to improve his record as a Griffin to 6-3, while Fallon stopped 33 of 37 for Houston.

Three Stars
: 1. GR Conner (goal, assist); 2. GR Johnson (game-winning goal, assist); 3. HOU DiSalvatore (goal)


Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: Johnson GWG  Conner Goal 
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report





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