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Amerks Open March With 5-4 Loss To Griffins

Friday, 03.4.2011 / 10:40 PM ET / 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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 49 16 21 11 37
J. Huberdeau 52 10 27 10 37
A. Barkov 42 16 19 13 35
J. Jokinen 52 10 25 12 35
V. Trocheck 52 17 16 4 33
R. Smith 52 16 15 11 31
B. Pirri 48 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 48 10 12 21 22
B. Campbell 52 4 16 17 20
N. Bjugstad 37 9 8 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 13 5 .930 2.13
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

 
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