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Recap

Amerks Open March With 5-4 Loss To Griffins

Friday, 03.04.2011 / 10:40 PM / Recap
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Amerks Open March With 5-4 Loss To Griffins
(Rochester, NY)… The Grand Rapids Griffins jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead and held on for a 5-4 win over the visiting Rochester Americans in the first of back-to-back tilts tonight at Van Andel Arena. The loss was just Rochester’s second in regulation in its last 11 games as the Amerks, who fell to 29-28-3-3, saw their three-game winning streak halted. With the win, the Griffins improve to 28-25-1-8 and leapfrog the Amerks for sixth place in the American Hockey League’s North Division.

Rookie forward AJ Jenks scored a goal and assisted on another to pilot Rochester’s offense this evening, while Tyler Plante earned the loss despite a 25-save effort in his 13th consecutive starts between the pipes.

Former Amerk Jamie Johnson led the hometown Griffins with two points (0+2) en route to first star honors as five different players tallied goals for Grand Rapids. Netminder Jordan Pearce stopped 19 shots in the winning effort.

Grand Rapids took a 2-0 advantage off first-period goals from Brandon Straub and Chris Minard to help the Griffins establish a lead they would never relinquish. Straub’s third goal of the season at 13:29 of the opening frame would jumpstart a four-goal run and Minard would add his 14th of the season in closing minutes of the period to provide some cushion.

The Griffins’ momentum continued in the second stanza with another two-goal surge, starting with Ilari Filppula’s power-play tally just 6:15 in thanks to back-to-back penalties to Rochester’s Mike Caruso and Jeff LoVecchio.

Jamie Tardif pushed the Griffins’ lead to 4-0 with his team-leading 23rd goal of the campaign midway through the second, with the lone assist going to Tomas Tatar.

Rochester would finally put a stop to Grand Rapids’ offensive rush as defenseman Clay Wilson netted his 10th of the season on the power-play late in the period. With former Amerk Doug Janik in the box for a hooking infraction, the AHL’s best road power-play unit went to work to capitalize on the man-advantage. Newcomer Patrick Rissmiller, playing in his first game in an Amerk uniform since being acquired by Florida at the trade deadline, recorded an assist on the goal along with Hugh Jessiman, back in his first game with Rochester since making his NHL debut last week with the Panthers.

The Griffins would reclaim their four-goal lead early into the final frame with another power-play goal of their own as Brandon Smith tipped in Johnson’s shot with a perfect deflection just under the crossbar. Cory Emmerton would also be credited with an assist on the play.

PJ Fenton would score the first of three straight for the Amerks, starting exactly midway through the third period. Mike Kostka earned the sole assist on Fenton’s fourth of the season.

Six minutes later, Triston Grant and Jenks found the back of the net 42 seconds apart to bring the Amerks back within one, turning a thee-goal deficit into a 5-4 lead for the Griffins.

With over two minutes to play, and an extra attacker on the ice, time got the best of Rochester’s comeback attempts only to deny the Amerks the opportunity to complete their last-minute rally.

The same two teams meet again on Saturday, March 5th at Van Andel Arena as Rochester looks to avoid the two-game sweep. Fans can tune into the 7:00 p.m. North Division matchup on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester’s Sports Talk.
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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
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
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