Search Grand Rapids Griffins

News Releases

THE JOY OF SIX

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – On the strength of Matt Ellis’ unprecedented two-goal, four-point performance, the Grand Rapids Griffins demolished the Hamilton Bulldogs by a 7-2 count on Friday at Van Andel Arena, setting a season-high for goals and earning their sixth straight victory.

Manny Legace, on a one-game conditioning assignment from the Detroit Red Wings, made 20 saves and even earned an assist in his Grand Rapids debut, appearing unconstrained by the left knee sprain he suffered in Anaheim on Nov. 25. The first-place Griffins (24-10-0-2), who increased their North Division lead to five points over idle Manitoba, will ring out 2005 by hosting the Chicago Wolves in their annual New Year’s Eve contest at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Darryl Bootland, who twice left Wednesday’s game against Omaha after sustaining ferocious hits, showed no ill effects as he set up the game’s first goal with a brilliant play 5:40 into the opening period. Splitting the Hamilton defense, he sped down the slot and drew goalie Jeff Deslauriers to the left post, then sent a pass back across the crease to a wide-open Valtteri Filppula for an easy tap-in.

Bootland made it a 2-0 game with his own goal at 1:26 of the second. From behind the Hamilton net, Jiri Hudler sent a pass out front to the rugged winger, who snapped a shot below the cross bar from the bottom of the right circle. Midway through the frame, the Bulldogs (13-22-0-2) got on the board during a power play thanks to a fine effort by Michael Lambert. He skated out of the right corner with the puck and fired a wrister top-shelf over Legace’s glove at 11:05.

Soon after, the Griffins answered with a pair of goals to take a 4-1 lead to the locker room. During an odd-man rush, Eric Himelfarb took a centering pass from Kent McDonell, controlled the bouncing puck and flipped a shot over a sprawled Deslauriers from the left side at 16:13. Just 1:27 later, Hudler parked on the doorstep and converted an Ellis pass from the end boards. The goal marked the 47th of Hudler’s Griffins career, tying him with Kevin Miller for tenth place all time.

Fortunate bounces enabled the teams to trade goals early in the third period. Sixty-four seconds in, Francis Lemieux wrapped around the net and whipped the puck into the slot, where it deflected off a Griffin’s skate and across the line. Ellis then took advantage of an awkward carom off the glass to score into a vacated cage at 3:53.

Only 19 ticks later, Ellis won a battle for the puck in the right corner and found Donald MacLean in the slot. MacLean picked up his team-high 19th goal of the season, finding the back of the net for the fourth straight contest. Ellis then capped off his incredible night by scoring from the right circle on the power play with 2:49 left, matching his career-high for points – set with ECHL Toledo in 2002-03 – and doubling his previous high as a Griffin.

Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004

Browse by Month »

October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004