GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 5 at Oklahoma City Barons 7
Feb. 9, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Grand Rapids Griffins lost their second straight game in Oklahoma City Saturday, falling to the Barons 7-5 at Cox Convention Center.
After holding a 3-1 lead heading into the third period, the Griffins allowed the Barons to score six goals in the final 20 minutes en route to the 7-5 loss. The six goals allowed in one period ties a franchise record set three times before, most recently on Dec. 31, 2009 at Hamilton (2nd). It was also the first time the Griffins had allowed six goals in the third period.
The Barons (23-18-2-4) jumped on the scoreboard first as Ryan Martindale connected for the second straight night on a power play goal at 11:37 of the opening period. Tom McCollum made a great save on a shot by Taylor Fedun, but the rebound deflected to Martindale who quickly found the back of the net.
Grand Rapids (27-16-2-2) tied the game at one on a shorthanded goal at 15:19 of the first period. Brett Skinner made a clearing attempt from 15 feet inside the Griffins’ blue line and the puck took a skip on goaltender Yann Danis. As Danis tried to block the shot, the puck trickled between his legs just over the goal line. The goal was Skinner’s first as a Griffin.
Francis Pare gave the Griffins their first lead of the game on a power play goal at 16:43 of the first period. Gustav Nyquist took a pass from the right wing circle to the net and Danis made the initial save, but the puck came loose to Pare who snuck his shot past the goaltender.
Nyquist gave Grand Rapids a 3-1 lead midway through the second period. The right wing knocked the puck off a defender’s stick and slipped it past an unsuspecting Danis at 10:18 for his first goal and second point of the game.
Josh Green cut the Griffins’ lead to one goal on a power play at 1:29 of the final period. The center sent a wrist shot past McCollum to score his sixth goal of the season.
Nyquist put Grand Rapids up by a pair on a power play goal of his own at 5:17 of the third period. The goal was the Halmsted, Sweden native’s second of the night and 17th of the season.
The Barons rattled off four straight goals within the next five minutes to take a commanding 6-4 lead. Jonathan Cheechoo scored his third goal in the two-game series 40 seconds after Nyquist’s goal. The right wing’s shot from the bottom of the circle snuck through McCollum’s pads at 5:57 of the third.
Toni Rajala tied the game at four at 9:49 of the final period. Taking a pass at the left wing, Rajala drew McCollum out of position with a fake and went in on a sharp angle to score.
Philippe Cornet and Dane Byers both scored within the next minute to give the Barons a two-goal lead. On a two-on-one advantage, Cornet sent a shot over McCollum’s left shoulder at 10:13. Less than 30 seconds later, Fedun took a shot from the point and Byers deflected it by McCollum from the right side of the net.
Brent Raedeke pulled Grand Rapids within one goal at 13:24 of the final period as he received a pass up the middle and snapped his shot underneath the arm of Danis.
But Cheechoo sealed the victory for the Barons as he scored the final goal of the game on an empty net at 19:05.
McCollum recorded 22 saves and Danis earned the victory behind 22 saves.
The Griffins will return to the Van Andel Arena for their next game as they host the Lake Erie Monsters Friday at 7 p.m.
Three Stars: 1. OKC Clark (three assists); 2. OKC Arcobello (three assists); 3. OKC Cheechoo (two goals, assist)