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GRIFFINS POWER PAST RIVERMEN


PEORIA, Ill.
  – The Grand Rapids Griffins used a three-for-three effort on the power play and Adam Berkhoel’s 34 saves to claim a 5-3 victory in the front end of a home-and-home series with the Peoria Rivermen Saturday night at Carver Arena.

Grand Rapids will face off with Peoria again at Van Andel Arena on Sunday at 4 p.m. For Sunday’s game, the Griffins will be hosting “Pink at the Rink” in support of breast cancer awareness month. Fans will be able to show their support for the cause in several ways, with all proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grand Rapids.

The Griffins caught a break in the game’s first minute, when they dumped the puck into Peoria’s zone after the opening draw. Rivermen goaltender Jason Bacashihua attempted to play the puck, but mishandled it and could not recover before Mark Hartigan dashed in and put Grand Rapids on the board 26 seconds into the contest. Grand Rapids added another goal at 11:12 on the game’s first power play when Jonathan Ericsson unleashed a long-range blast from a step inside the blue line.

Presented with a five-on-three advantage late in the first, Peoria needed only 10 seconds to convert. Micki DuPont fired from the high slot, and Charles Linglet cleaned up the rebound to cut the Grand Rapids lead to 2-1 heading into the first intermission.

On a power play at 4:48 of the middle frame, Ericsson fed Garrett Stafford on the edge of the left circle, where Stafford guided the puck between the goal post and Bacashihua’s right shoulder to give the Griffins a 3-1 lead. However, the Rivermen soon answered, scoring a pair of goals in a 25-second span. DuPont sprung Mike Glumac for a breakaway chance on the power play, and Glumac beat Berkhoel stick side at 7:45.  Moments later, Michal Birner pushed home the rebound of Aaron MacKenzie’s slap shot to knot the score at three.

The Griffins’ power play struck again when Carl Corazzini swooped in from the left wing and used his lightning-quick release to beat Bacashihua. The rebound off Brett Engelhardt’s shot reclaimed the lead for Grand Rapids just past the game’s midpoint. After Corazzini’s goal, Peoria brought on Marek Schwarz in relief of Bacashihua, and neither team scored again until Jamie Tardif found an empty net with one second remaining in the game.

Engelhardt’s assist extended his point streak to six games, the longest this season for a Griffin. Grand Rapids’ 5-0 road mark out of the gate ranks No. 2 in team history behind the 2004-05 team, which started the season 7-0 away from home.

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3 4 5
Official Game Report


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