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GR 4, ABB 3 SO

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 at Abbotsford Heat 3 SO

Feb. 28, 2014

— Two defensemen scored for the Grand Rapids Griffins in a shootout to help the Griffins to a 4-3 win over the Abbotsford Heat on Friday at Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.

In his second career shootout attempt, Brennan Evans slipped a puck by Olivier Roy with a deke in the fifth round and Gleason Fournier netted a wrister in round eight for the win. It was Fournier’s first shootout attempt this season.

Backed by a 31-save performance by Petr Mrazek in his fourth consecutive win, the Midwest Division-leading Griffins (34-17-2-3, 73 pts.) closed in on first place in the Western Conference, currently held by the Texas Stars (33-16-3-5, 74 pts.). The Heat trail closely behind in fourth place with a 33-17-4-2 record (72 pts.)

The Griffins and Heat will meet for a rematch Saturday at 10 p.m. EST in Abbotsford.

The scoring started when Ben Street threw a shot at Mrazek during a Heat power play and Sven Baertschi redirected the puck through Mrazek’s five hole at 6:11.

For the second straight game, Griffins’ leading scorer Teemu Pulkkinen tallied two goals. He evened the score at 16:44 when he wound up and let a rocket rip from the top of the right circle. His goal beat Roy stick-side, and the first period closed out at 1-1.

At 3:29 of the second period, Nick Jensen’s slapshot from the point found its way through traffic, and Pulkkinen was at the crease to tip the puck in. The assist marked Jensen’s first AHL point.

The Griffins dominated the shot column in the second frame, outshooting the Heat 17-7. Despite Abbotsford only managing two shots through the first 15 minutes of the period, Max Reinhart tied the game at 16:09 with a wrister into the lower right corner.

Calle Jarnkrok’s power play helper with 20 seconds remaining in the period gave Grand Rapids the advantage heading into the third period. Adam Almquist sent a cross-ice pass to Andrej Nestrasil, who faked a shot and found Jarnkrok in the slot. Jarnkrok snuck a wrister past Roy for his second goal in as many games.

Reinhart’s second marker of the night at 16:07 of the third period evened the playing field through the rest of regulation. Baertschi found an open lane from the blue line to Reinhart, and the redirection beat Mrazek.

Despite a series of breakout plays for each team through the overtime period, the extra time wasn’t enough to decide the game. Baertschi scored the Heat’s only goal of the shootout with a snipe into the lower left corner in the fourth round.

Roy finished with 34 saves.

Notes: The Griffins are without 2014 AHL All-Star defenseman Alexey Marchenko, who is slated for surgery after suffering an ankle injury in Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Admirals. He is expected to be out for the remainder of the regular season.

Three Stars: 1. ABB Reinhart (two goals); 2. GR Pulkkinen (two goals); 3. ABB Baertschi (goal, assist)

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: Pulkkinen second goal Jarnkrok goal Final shootout round
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report


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