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Down on the Farm: Griffins’ Goaltenders Tighten the Screws

December 8th, 2012 at 3:32 PM
By Frank Vajcner

The offense for the Grand Rapids Griffins has been in a bit of a funk as of late, as they have averaged only two goals per game in their last five games.

The good news is that the defense and goaltending have stepped up as of late, only allowing three goals in the last three games.

The aforementioned was the case Wednesday night as the Griffins fell 2-1 to the Peoria Rivermen in a goaltending duel between Grand Rapids' Petr Mrazek and Peoria's Mike McKenna.

The Rivermen got on the board first courtesy of Adam Cracknell firing a loose puck past Mrazek at 4:18 of the second period.

The Griffins answered 8:26 with a shorthanded goal from Riley Sheahan. The goal was his fourth of the year.

Peoria's Jaden Schwartz would score the game-winner at 9:33.

The Griffins had an opportunity to tie the game with a 6-on-4 advantage over the last 1:18 of the third period, but McKenna stood tall for the Rivermen.

McKenna finished with 28 saves in the win. Mrazek made 21 saves in the loss.

Goaltending was again strong for the Griffins as they would shutout the Chicago Wolves Friday night in a 3-0 decision.

After a scoreless first period, the Griffins got on the board courtesy of Adam Almquist scoring his third goal of the year on a power play one minute into the second period. Despite outshooting the wolves 26-9 through 40 minutes, the score remained 1-0.

Joakim Andersson's fifth goal of the year made it 2-0 at 4:20 of the third after beating Chicago goaltender Matt Climie on a rebound off of a missed shot by Landon Ferraro.

The duo of Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar helped make it 3-0 at 6:10. Tatar fed a pass to Nyquist, who was headed for the goal. Nyquist then flipped the puck back to Tatar, who would score his 11th goal of the year.

Griffins' goaltender Tom McCollum did his part by stopping all 20 shots to earn his second career shutout on his 23rd birthday. Climie made 34 saves in a losing cause.

The Griffins will be back in action Sunday at home against the Rockford Ice Hogs in a battle for first place in the Midwest division. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 PM.

Tags: Adam Almquist, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Grand Rapids Griffins, Gustav Nyquist, Hockey, Joakim Andersson, Landon Ferraro, NHL, Petr Mrazek, Tom McCollum, Tomas Tatar

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