Callahan's Two Goals Pace Griffins' 5-2 Win
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins spotted the Charlotte Checkers a 2-0 lead on Saturday before roaring back to take a 5-2 win at Van Andel Arena.
Mitch Callahan began the Griffins' rally and finished with two goals on the night, spearheading an offense that assaulted Charlotte netminder Anthony Peters with a season-high 49 shots, while Tom McCollum made 30 saves for Grand Rapids to earn his second win in his last three starts.
The Griffins (29-20-1-1) will head to Chicago for a noon start on Tuesday against the Wolves before returning to Van Andel Arena on Friday to kick off a rare gauntlet of three home games in three nights.
Charlotte struck first with a power play goal at 6:09 of the opening period. Former Michigan Wolverine T.J. Hensick circled around half of the Griffins' zone before launching a wrister from the right circle that McCollum denied, but Ethan Werek was waiting on the doorstep to pop the rebound home for his fifth goal in just four games against Grand Rapids this season.
The visitors doubled their advantage during another power play 2:25 into the second, when Justin Shugg connected on an innocent-looking wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
Later in the period, the Griffins tallied twice in less than three minutes to knot the score. After a faceoff win in the Charlotte zone, Callahan took position between the circles to redirect Brian Lashoff's slap shot from the left point behind Peters, putting Grand Rapids on the board at the 8:54 mark.
Soon after, Anthony Mantha made a nice move at the blue line to create space for himself then darted to the top of the circles before snapping a shot past Peters' blocker at 11:19.
Andy Miele gave the Griffins the lead with their third unanswered goal of the period at 18:10, scoring on a rebound from the bottom of the left circle, before McCollum preserved the cushion by stoning a penalty shot attempt by Brendan Woods with 42 seconds left before intermission.
Callahan made it a 4-2 game at the 5:05 mark of the third period, finishing off a flurry around the Charlotte net that was sparked by Mark Zengerle forcing a turnover, and Tyler Bertuzzi added the night cap from close range off a Martin Frk pass with 2:46 remaining.
Peters, who made a surprise debut for Charlotte (26-21-3-2) following an injury last night to starter Drew MacIntyre, finished with 44 saves in his eighth career AHL game.
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American Hockey League Stories from February 20, 2016
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- Crunch Topped by Americans, 6-2 - Syracuse Crunch
- Callahan's Two Goals Pace Griffins' 5-2 Win - Grand Rapids Griffins
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- Admirals Caught in Moose Trap - Milwaukee Admirals
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- B-Sens Sweep IceCaps - Binghamton Senators
- Checkers Lose Early Lead in Grand Rapids - Charlotte Checkers
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