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Recap

Amerks Open March With 5-4 Loss To Griffins

Friday, 03.04.2011 / 10:40 PM / Recap
Rochester Americans
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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 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 47 16 13 -2 29
A. Ekblad 47 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 44 9 17 0 26
J. Jokinen 46 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 45 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 1 20
S. Bergenheim 36 8 9 2 17
A. Barkov 36 5 10 -6 15
B. Campbell 47 3 12 0 15
D. Kulikov 42 1 13 -4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 12 8 .920 2.41
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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