Griffins Keep Rolling with 5-1 Win over Texas
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Behind two goals by Patrick Eaves and 33 saves from Tom McCollum, the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday rolled to their fifth straight win overall and their sixth in a row at home, a 5-1 thrashing of the Texas Stars at Van Andel Arena.
Grand Rapids (15-4-1-1) showed its dominance on both ends of the ice, scoring at least five goals for the sixth consecutive home game while limiting its opponent to no more than a single goal for the fourth time in its last five outings. The Griffins' defense also did a number on the AHL's top two scorers this weekend, limiting Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour to just a lone assist each during the two-game sweep of the Stars.
The Griffins, who maintain a seven-point lead atop the Midwest Division, will continue a season-high seven-game homestand next weekend when the Rochester Americans come to town for a Friday-Saturday set.
The Griffins tallied late in the first and early in the second to jump ahead 2-0. Cory Emmerton connected on a one-timer from above the circles with 2:04 left in the first period, and Alexey Marchenko threaded a wrist shot through traffic from the point 3:41 into the second.
Texas netminder Allen York surrendered goal number three at the 6:50 mark, as Calle Jarnkrok grabbed the puck along the right boards just inside the Texas blue line, raced down to the half-wall and fired a shot that somehow slipped past York as he hugged the right post.
The Stars (11-8-2-2) used a power play to finally solve McCollum on their 26th shot of the night, with Jyrki Jokipakka notching his first AHL goal from the left circle at 17:26, but it took the Griffins just 24 seconds to respond. An Eaves floater from above the right circle eluded York, giving the NHL veteran points in four of his five games as a Griffin.
Eaves added his second goal at the 8:41 mark of the third, reaching his stick out to deflect an Adam Almquist pass into the top of the net.
Two of the Griffins' heavyweights answered the bell in the third period as the Stars' frustrations mounted. Jordin Tootoo pummeled William Wrenn just over seven minutes into the frame, while Triston Grant and Cameron Gaunce went toe-to-toe three minutes later.
McCollum, who made his first appearance in two weeks and earned his first victory since Nov. 6, improved to 7-2 on the season. York finished the night with 30 saves.
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American Hockey League Stories from November 30, 2013
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