March 13, 2011 - GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 5 at San Antonio Rampage 4 SO
SAN ANTONIO – Jamie Johnson sent the Rampage stampeding in a come-from-behind victory with the lone shootout goal Sunday in San Antonio at the AT&T Center, earning the Grand Rapids Griffins much needed points in the push towards playoffs.
The Griffins (32-25-2-8) wrapped up a three-in-three southern road swing against the Rampage (36-25-3-1), earning two points in an ever-tightening North Division race to sit just three points behind third-place Hamilton and a guaranteed playoff berth. Grand Rapids has won eight of its last ten games and is riding a season-high seven-game point streak (6-0-1-0), since a nine-game run from Oct. 23-Nov.13, 2009.
The Griffins look to narrow the playoff gap when they return to Van Andel Arena on Wednesday to kick off a five game homestand, beginning with the Oklahoma City Barons in their final match up of the season at 7 p.m.
Brent Raedeke knocked the puck past Matt Climie at 2:28 of the first period, to give the Griffins an early 1-0 advantage. The Rampage quickly responded at 3:37, when Mathieu Beaudoin found the net to tie the score. Grand Rapids headed into the middle stanza trailing 2-1 after Dane Byers tallied a goal for San Antonio at 11:42.
Returning to second period, Beaudoin fired a shot past Jordan Pearce at 2:55, claiming a 3-1 lead for the Rampage. Francis Pare responded for the Griffins with a goal to narrow the gap 2-3 at 10:08, but success was short-lived when Alexandre Picard scored a power play goal at 11:36 to claim a 4-2 lead for San Antonio.
Grand Rapids dominated the final frame, notching two consecutive goals to even the score 4-4. Derek Meech tipped the first goal in at 9:32, followed by Brendan Smith at 15:38 to send the game into overtime. Both teams battled beyond regulation, but it was Johnson who stole the win for the Griffins with a lone shootout goal in round six.
Pearce posted 21 saves overall and allowed no goals on six shots in the shootout, while Climie posted 43 stops and allowed only one goal in six shootout attempts.
Three Stars: 1. GR Raedeke (1 goal, 1 assist); 2. GR Smith (1 goal); 3. SA Beaudoin (2 goals, 1 assist)
|AHLLive Video Highlights|
|ESPN Radio Highlights: Meech Goal Smith Goal Shootout Round 6|
|Official Game Report|