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GRIFFINS SCORE EARLY IN 5-1 WIN OVER AMERKS

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 9:46 AM / News
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GRIFFINS SCORE EARLY IN 5-1 WIN OVER AMERKS
The Grand Rapids Griffins scored twice in the first period before adding three unanswered goals in the second half of the contest as the defending Calder Cup champions cruised to a 5-1 win over the Rochester Americans Saturday night at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo. Despite the loss, the Amerks have won eight of their last 10 games and maintain sole possession of second place in the American Hockey League\u2019s North Division standings entering the 2014 AHL All-Star break.

The Grand Rapids Griffins scored twice in the first period before adding three unanswered goals in the second half of the contest as the defending Calder Cup champions cruised to a 5-1 win over the Rochester Americans Saturday night at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo. Despite the loss, the Amerks have won eight of their last 10 games and maintain sole possession of second place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings entering the 2014 AHL All-Star break.

Rasmus Ristolainen provided Rochester’s lone tally with assists from Chad Ruhwedel and Kevin Porter, while goaltender Matt Hackett finished with 22 saves in his second start in two nights.

Jeff Hoggan, Cory Emmerton and Martin Frk all finished with a goal and an assist for Grand Rapids, and former Amerk Nathan Paetsch added two assists. Tom McCollum stopped 27 of 28 Rochester shots for his 19th win of the season.

Grand Rapids opened the scoring just 7:22 into the first period, when Emmerton buried a rebound off of Hoggan’s shot. The Griffins added their second goal 5:50 later when Paetsch’s shot from the point was deflected by Callahan and into the net. Officials gathered following the play to discuss whether Hackett was illegally pushed into the net by Callahan, but eventually upheld the ruling in favor of the Griffins.

The Amerks would swing momentum back in their favor late in the first period while on the power-play, as Ruhwedel swung a pass along the blueline over to Ristolainen, who hammered a one-timer past a frozen McCollum to bring the score to 2-1 heading into the first intermission.

That deficit would be the closest the Amerks would get, as Hoggan and Marchenko would add consecutive tallies midway through the second period to bring the score to 4-1 in favor of Grand Rapids.

With the Amerks looking to mount a comeback, Frk scored the Griffins’ fifth goal just 1:13 into the final period. With just over nine minutes remaining in regulation, Grand Rapids took consecutive penalties 15 seconds apart to provide a five-on-three power-play for the Amerks. Johan Larsson rang two separate shots off the post from the right circle, and despite containing the Griffins in their own zone for nearly the entire two-man advantage, the Amerks couldn’t again solve McCollum, who kept Rochester at bay for the remainder of the contest.

The Amerks return to action following the annual All-Star break on Friday, Feb. 14 as they take on the intrastate rival Utica Comets at 7:05 p.m. in the first leg of a home-and-home series at The Blue Cross Arena. The special Valentine’s Day matchup will be the eighth of 10 scheduled meetings between the two teams this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82