Griffins Tie for Second in Division with 3-1 Win over Admirals
MILWAUKEE - With barely a minute left on the clock, Matt Puempel fired off a shot from the Griffins' goal line that sent the puck flying down the ice and straight into an open empty net.
The goal, combined with a 28-save effort from Patrik Rybar and early scoring help from Carter Camper and Axel Holmstrom, guided the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Friday
Headed into the matchup tied with the Griffins at 44 points, the Admirals (19-13-5-1) now claim third in Central Division standings while Grand Rapids moves up to second, matching the Chicago Wolves' total of 46 points and sitting within a single point of the Division-leading Iowa Wild.
The win closes out a three-game road trip for the Griffins (20-12-3-3), who return to Van Andel Arena on Friday and Saturday for a weekend series of 7 p.m. games with the Belleville Senators in their first-ever visit to Grand Rapids.
With the victory, Rybar earned his ninth win of the season while both Camper and Holmstrom netted their ninth goals within the first 20 minutes of the contest. Camper, just 55 seconds into the first period, knocked a rebound behind Milwaukee goaltender Troy Grosenick from the slot off Dylan McIlrath's attempt, leaving the Griffins with a 1-0 advantage on just their fourth shot of the night.
Before Holmstrom could tally his ninth of the season, the Admirals' Justin Kirkland put his team on the board with a goal at 8:03. Facing pressure from Camper inside the left-wing circle, Milwaukee forward Yakov Trenin slid the puck to Kirkland, who flung it past defenseman Libor Sulak and Rybar to even the score.
At 15:52, as Jake Chelios ripped off a shot from the left point, Holmstrom positioned himself in front of Grosenick's net to tip the puck inside the right post and over the goaltender's shoulder to re-establish Grand Rapids' lead.
Both teams were awarded their first power play opportunities of the night in a scoreless second period, though neither managed to find twine as Grand Rapids finished the contest 0-for-3. A late penalty with six minutes left in the third frame granted the Admirals their second power play of the game, but the Griffins' penalty kill unit remained dependable as Trevor Hamilton blocked a slapshot from Milwaukee's Matt Donovan in the waning moments to help Grand Rapids to a perfect 2-for-2 finish.
With 1:01 left in regulation, Puempel tacked on his empty-net goal unassisted to secure the 3-1 win for Grand Rapids.
Notes: Grosenick tallied 28 saves on the night...After representing the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship, Filip Zadina made his first appearance back in the lineup since Dec. 19...Turner Elson (Oct. 11, 2013), Joe Hicketts (Nov. 12, 2016) and Hamilton (Dec. 15, 2018) have all scored their first AHL goals against the Admirals.
Three Stars: 1. GR Rybar (W, 28 saves); 2. MIL Grosenick (28 saves); 3. GR Camper (goal)
Images from this story
Grand Rapids Griffins test the Milwaukee Admirals defense
(Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Admirals)
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from January 10, 2019
- Join the Griffins for Toy Night and a Rubik's Cube Giveaway against Milwaukee Next Weekend - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz to Host Book Signing at Hogs Game February 1 - Rockford IceHogs
- Detroit Assigns Lashoff to Grand Rapids - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Manning Recalled, Iacopelli Reassigned to Indy - Rockford IceHogs
- T-Birds' Third Straight Three-Game Weekend Opens on Home Ice Friday vs. Bears - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Chicago Comes to Tucson for 1-2-3 Food Night and Harry Potter Night - Tucson Roadrunners
- Blues Recall Mackenzie MacEachern - San Antonio Rampage
- Senators Beat Cleveland for First Time in Franchise History - Belleville Senators
- Blue Jackets Recall Goaltender Jean-Francois Berube from Monsters - Cleveland Monsters
- Moose Reassign Cederholm and Woods - Manitoba Moose
- Sound Tigers Recall Cornell, Gillam from Worcester - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Reign Fall to San Jose - Ontario Reign
- Barracuda Roll Past Reign 3-1 - San Jose Barracuda
- Goals Aplenty in Gulls' 7-4 Victory - San Diego Gulls
- Quine Nets Three But Heat Fall 7-4 to San Diego - Stockton Heat
- Griffins Tie for Second in Division with 3-1 Win over Admirals - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Iowa Defeated by San Antonio 5-4 Wednesday Night - Iowa Wild
- Stars Extend Home Point Streak in 3-2 Victory - Texas Stars
- MacEachern Scores Twice in Record-Setting Win - San Antonio Rampage
- Admirals Lose for First Time in 2019 - 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
- Grosenick the Difference in Milwaukee's Win over Griffins
- Former Griffin Darren Haydar to Enter AHL Hall of Fame
- Griffins Host Admirals in Home Opener, Travel to IceHogs
- Red Wings Send Kaski and Kuffner to Grand Rapids
- Red Wings Recall Biega, Kaski, Kuffner and Svechnikov