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THIRD PERIOD THUMPING

HOUSTON – The Grand Rapids Griffins short-lived two-game winning streak was snapped Sunday night at the Toyota Center against the Houston Aeros after suffering a 6-1 loss in the final meeting between the two teams this season.

The Aeros struck first at 5:24 during a power play when Alex Leavitt found a wide open Matt Foy on the back doorstep to slide the puck over the goal line. Grand Rapids’ lone goal of the game came at 8:42 courtesy of a breakaway chance by Ryan Oulahen who capitalized by sending a shot through the legs of Josh Harding.

Houston regained the lead due to a fluke goal at the 14:17 mark. Chris Ovington fired a shot from the right point that was sailing wide of the net, but deflected off Marco Rosa to skid through the goal mouth. Stefan Liv dove back in an attempt to cover the puck, and instead knocked it into his own net.

Joel Ward scored the only goal of the middle frame 9:43 in on a second opportunity rebound to give the Aeros a two-goal advantage. Liv made an acrobatic save on the initial shot from the high-slot, but the puck bounced right back to Ward’s stick.

The start of the third period proved disastrous for the Griffins as the Aeros came out and netted two quick goals extending their lead to four. The same pair that lit the lamp first for Houston hooked up again at the 2:00 mark as Foy blasted a shot from the top of the circles after receiving a pass from Leavitt.

Just 1:37 later Roman Voloshenko sent a wrist shot to the top corner from the right face off dot summoning Jimmy Howard for crease duty. Adding insult to injury, Houston notched their sixth goal of the contest at 9:01 when Benoit Pouliot skated in unassisted and blew a shot past Howard on the stick side.

Prior to being chased from the pipes, Liv recorded 14 saves on 19 shots and Howard stepped in turning away five while allowing one goal. Harding backstopped 23 on 24 shots. The Griffins finished the season series against the Aeros with a 2-1-0-1 record and will return home Wednesday night for their first match of the season against the Hamilton Bulldogs set for 7 p.m. EST.

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