Griffins Drop Second Straight to Phantoms, 4-1
PHILADELPHIA - Brian Lashoff recorded an assist in his first professional game, but the Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a 4-1 decision to the Philadelphia Phantoms at the Wachovia Spectrum on Sunday. With five games remaining, the Griffins are four points ahead of the Hamilton Bulldogs for second place in the North Division.
Lashoff, a defenseman by trade, played forward for the injury-depleted Griffins and registered an assist on Cory Emmerton's third-period goal. Jimmy Howard, fresh off his career-best 47-save performance on Friday night, stopped 20 shots in net for the Griffins (42-21-6-6). Scott Munroe got the start for the Phantoms (38-29-2-4) and turned aside 33 of the 34 shots that Grand Rapids took. The Griffins, already hit hard with injuries, also played without defenseman Garrett Stafford, who was called up to the Dallas Stars before the game.
The Phantoms scored on their first shot of the game, which came 4:29 into the opening period. Danny Syvret took a wrist shot from the left circle that deflected in front of the net before hitting twine. Then Rob Sirianni picked up right where he left off on Saturday night, notching his fourth goal of the two-game series with four minutes left in the first. With a man advantage, Sirianni parked himself in front of the Grand Rapids cage and converted a Boyd Kane feed from behind the net.
Jonathan Matsumoto, who also recorded the hat trick in yesterday's game, made it 3-0 with his 27th goal of the season with 5:41 left in the middle period. Jonathan Kalinski picked up a loose puck on the left boards and scored on a wraparound 3:19 later to extend the Phantoms' lead to 4-0.
Emmerton put the Griffins on the board 2:59 into the third period with his 10th goal of the campaign. Lashoff, playing in his first professional game, spun around in the high slot and unloaded a low shot that Emmerton deflected past Munroe to make the score 4-1. The assist was Lashoff's first point as a Griffin.
Grand Rapids, now 2-3 during a current eight-game road trip, will continue its franchise-record trip with a pair of games against the Hamilton Bulldogs with serious playoff implications. The two-game set kicks off on Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Three Stars: 1. PHI Syvret (Goal, assist); 2. PHI Munroe (33 saves); 3. PHI Matsumoto (Goal, assist)
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