Griffins Complete Comeback in Overtime
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Filip Zadina's overtime goal capped the comeback on Saturday night at Van Andel Arena, as the Grand Rapids Griffins (30-16-7) overcame a late two-goal deficit to claim a 3-2 victory over the San Antonio Rampage (24-22-5).?
With the Rampage leading 2-0, Grand Rapids scored three goals in the final 1:58 of game play to hand the Rampage their third overtime defeat of the in the last five games.
Nolan Stevens and Mark Cooper scored for San Antonio, with Cooper tallying his first AHL goal.
With 1:50 left in regulation and Griffins goaltender Patrik Rybar heading to the bench for an extra skater, Carter Camper got the Griffins on the board. His shot from the slot was kicked away by Rampage goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick but the rebound went off the leg of a Rampage defender and into the net for Camper's 12th goal of the season to make it 2-1.
With 24 seconds left and the Griffins net again empty, Martin Frk fired a slap shot from the blue line off the post and in for his first of the year in his second game with Grand Rapids, tying the score 2-2. Fitzpatrick, making his second AHL start, was injured on the play and left the game with Jared Coreau entering in relief.
Off the opening face-off of overtime, Conner Bleackley was taken down and Zadina stepped ahead with the puck on a 2-on-1 to fire a wrister from the right wing past Coreau's blocker eight seconds into overtime for his 15th goal of the season. It was the first overtime-winner of Zadina's professional career.
Fitzpatrick made 18 saves on 20 shots. Coreau surrendered the Zadina goal on the only shot he faced and was saddled with the loss.
Stevens got the Rampage on the board with his second goal in as many games and his sixth of the season at 15:39 of the first period. Jakub Jerabek fired a low shot from the left point and Stevens buried the rebound to make it 1-0, San Antonio's sixth power play goal in the last eight games. Jordan Schmaltz picked up an assist, his third in four contests.
The Rampage took a 2-0 lead at 7:52 of the third period. Niko Mikkola powered his way down the left-wing boards and behind the Griffins net before wrapping the puck into the crease. Rybar made the initial save, but Cooper whacked in the rebound.
With the loss, the Rampage are 1-1-3 during the first five games of their ten-game road trip. They are 2-5 this season during the 3-on-3 overtime, and 0-4 on the road.
With a point in the standings the Rampage have 53 points, tied with the Manitoba Moose but still listed eighth in the Central Division. San Antonio is three points out of the division's final playoff spot.
The Rampage play their third game in three nights on Sunday when they visit the Rockford IceHogs at BMO Harris Bank Center. Puck-drop is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT, with the game available on the Ticket 760AM and on AHLTV.
RAMPAGE STATS: Goals: Stevens (6); Cooper (1)
Evan Fitzpatrick: 18 saves on 20 shots; Jared Coreau: 0 saves on 1 shot Power Play: 1-for-5 Penalty Kill: 6-for-6
THREE STARS: 1) Filip Zadina - GR 2) Martin Frk - GR 3) Patrik Rybar - GR
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San Antonio Rampage goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick denies Grand Rapids Griffins forward Axel Holmstrom
(Grand Rapids Griffins)
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