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GRIFFINS MOVIN' ON UP WITH 2-1 WIN

SAN ANTONIO – The Grand Rapids Griffins capitalized on their chance to move into a tie with the Houston Aeros for fourth place in the West Division by defeating the San Antonio Rampage 2-1 on Saturday night at the SBC Center. The Griffins, who have a game in hand on Houston, trail the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks by two points for third place with one game in hand.

Joey MacDonald, who tonight set the franchise record for consecutive games started with 16, made 34 saves for his 30th win of the season.

The Griffins, who improved their road record to 20-12-0-1, have earned at least 20 road victories five times in franchise history.

With just over three minutes remaining in the second period the Griffins (36-29-2-1) opened the game’s scoring with Tomas Kopecky’s fourth goal in his last eight outings. Brett Lebda moved to his left five feet in front of the blue line and wristed a shot toward the goal. Kopecky redirected Lebda’s shot past San Antonio netminder Travis Scott. Kip Miller also assisted on the goal for his 999th professional point (364-635—999).

Ryan Barnes, playing in his 199th game as a Griffin, doubled the Griffins margin when he popped a rebound over Scott at 11:05 of the third period. Eric Himelfarb broke into the San Antonio zone. He spun and dropped a pass for Darryl Bootland who promptly fired on Scott. The San Antonio netminder kicked out Bootland’s attempt, but Barnes quickly lifted the rebound over the sprawled goaltender.

Andre Savage halved Grand Rapids’ lead when he capped a flurry in front of the Griffins cage with a goal just 1:21 after Barnes’ goal. Savage tipped a shot from near the blue line past MacDonald.

In the remaining seven minutes, San Antonio (25-38-3-5) peppered the Griffins’ net, but MacDonald withstood the barrage making several spectacular saves.

Scott made 30 saves for the Rampage.

The Griffins complete their season series with the Houston Aeros on Sunday at the Toyota Center at 6:05 p.m.

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