Griffins Continue Surge With 6-3 Win Over Admirals
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins continued their late-season surge in an entertaining, hard-hitting affair at Van Andel Arena on Friday, defeating the Milwaukee Admirals 6-3 before a near-capacity crowd to sweep the home-and-home set against their long-time rivals.
Jamie Tardif notched a pair of goals and Thomas McCollum made 24 saves to record his first victory since Dec. 13, as the Griffins (31-35-3-3) improved to 6-1-1-1 in their last nine contests and moved within eight points of idle Manitoba in the race for the North Division's fourth and final playoff spot, with eight games remaining for both clubs.
Grand Rapids will continue its three-game home stand on Saturday at 7 p.m., looking for its fifth consecutive victory against the Texas Stars.
Milwaukee (38-28-1-6) struck for the only goal of the opening period just 2:41 in, as Marty Murray gobbled up a rebound on the doorstep during a rush and quickly scooped a backhand past McCollum's blocker.
The Griffins tied it at 7:29 of the second on Jordan Owens' first goal as a Griffin. Tardif skated the puck up the left side and dropped a pass above the circle for Owens, who wound up for a slap shot that pinballed off two Admirals defenders and slipped past Mark Dekanich. Owens would add two assists in the third to finish with three points on the night.
Early in the third, former Admiral John Vigilante forced a misplay by Dekanich behind the Milwaukee net and flipped the puck out to Tardif, who popped a shot into the gaping cage from the left side at 3:08 to put the Griffins ahead.
After Brad May crashed the crease to score during a power play at 7:46, giving Grand Rapids a 3-1 lead, he was immediately hit from behind, sparking a goal-mouth melee that brought the crowd of 10,444 to its feet.
Milwaukee somehow emerged from the scrum with a power play, which became 1:08 of a two-man advantage when another Griffin was sent to the box. The Admirals capitalized with 13 seconds remaining in the first penalty, when Alexander Sulzer solved McCollum from the bottom of the right circle at the 9:34 mark.
Tardif responded for the Griffins with his second goal of the game with 5:31 remaining, finishing off a 2-on-1 by redirecting Vigilante's feed inside the right post. Mike Santorelli got it back exactly 1:30 later, scoring on a wrist shot to pull the visitors within one at 4-3, but Jan Mursak converted a partial breakaway at 17:34 and Tomas Tatar scored into an empty net with 56 seconds left.
The Griffins' five goals during the third tied their season high for a single period and were their most in a home stanza since they scored five times in the third period of an 8-4 win over Rochester on Jan. 31, 2009.
Dekanich turned aside 21 in the losing effort.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from March 26, 2010
- Bulldogs ice the Heat - Hamilton Bulldogs
- Aeros End Skid, Defeat Monsters 3-2 in Overtime - Houston Aeros
- Rockford and Toldeo extend affiliation agreement - Rockford IceHogs
- Griffins Continue Surge With 6-3 Win Over Admirals - Grand Rapids Griffins
- IceHogs finish season series 5-3-1-1 against the Rivermen - Rockford IceHogs
- IceHogs Outburst Sinks Rivermen - Peoria Rivermen
- Stars sink Wolves in shootout - Texas Stars
- Wolves fall to Texas in 4-3 shootout - Chicago Wolves
- Lawson stops 38-of-42 shots on goal; Haskins scores 10th tally - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Phantoms Grab Point In 3-2 Shootout Loss To Hartford - Adirondack Phantoms
- Slow start dooms Amerks in 4-3 loss to B-Sens - Rochester Americans
- Penguins Power Past Admirals, Leave Norfolk With Third Place - Norfolk Admirals
- Devils Topple Falcons in Marathon Shootout, 4-3 - Albany Devils
- Crunch End Four-Game Skid with 4-0 Win - Syracuse Crunch
- Falcons Earn Another Point On The Road - Springfield Falcons
- P-Bruins Fall To Pirates 2-0 - Providence Bruins
- Sharks clinch playoff spot but fall to Bears 7-2 - Worcester Sharks
- B-Sens escape Rochester with 4-3 win - Binghamton Senators
- Lamoureux Leads Pirates To Shutout Victory - Portland Pirates
- The B-Sens In Your Community From March 26 Through April 1 - Binghamton Senators
- Thrashers Send For Stapleton - Chicago Wolves
- Crunch Sign Right Wing Alex Curran - Syracuse Crunch
- Loktionov Returns To Monarchs Line-Up - Manchester Monarchs
- P-Bruins Release Jody Pederson - Providence Bruins
- Texas Stars Sign Cody Chupp To ATO - Texas Stars
- New York Rangers Recall Parenteau And Eriksson From Wolf Pack - Connecticut Whale
- Hamilton's Calder Cup Hero Joins Broadcast Team As Guest Colour Commentator - Hamilton Bulldogs
- Crunch Announce Details Of NAPA NASCAR Night With Special Guest Martin Truex, Jr. - Syracuse Crunch
- Rampage Sign Staal To ATO, Reassign Weston To Las Vegas - San Antonio Rampage
- Moose Sign McGinnis To PTO - Manitoba Moose
- Hurricanes Reassign Justin Peters To Albany - Albany River Rats
- AHL Announces Suspension - AHL
- McDonald Honored For Community Work - Springfield Falcons
- Minnesota Wild Reassigns Cody Almond To Houston - Houston Aeros
- AHL Quick Hits - AHL
- MVP Health Care "KidPower" Essay Winner Announced - Albany River Rats
- Game Night: Amerks Host B-Sens At Blue Cross Arena - Rochester Americans
- Moose Sign Aaron Volpatti To ATO - Manitoba Moose
- Bears Sign Rome And Ferguson - Hershey Bears
- P-Bruins Sign Two To Tryouts - Providence Bruins
- Griffins Claim 3-2 Victory In Milwaukee - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Big Crowds, Big Home Games For Griffins This Weekend - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Admirals Edged Out By Grand Rapids - Milwaukee Admirals
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Grand Rapids Griffins Stories
- Detroit Assigns 11 to Grand Rapids
- Griffins to Return to Play in February
- Griffins to Ring in New Year in Detroit
- Griffins' Teddy Bear Toss & Holiday Drive Nets Sleighful for Local Charities
- Griffins and Versiti Blood Center to Host Blood Drive at Van Andel Arena on January 2