By JOSEPH OBRYCKI, Guest Reporter
The Grand Rapids Griffins split a pair of games at home over the weekend, against the Texas Stars beginning with a 3-1 loss on Friday night.
The Griffins’ Landon Ferraro netted the game’s first goal, his sixth of the season, late in the first period. That lead was held until the last minute of the second period when Reilly Smith scored for the Stars to even the game.
An early charging penalty in the third period on Griffins’ left winger, Triston Grant, led to the go-ahead power play goal by Jordie Benn just 3:29 into the third period.
The Stars added a third goal less than a minute later from right winger Alex Chiasson to extend the lead to 3-1.
The Griffins could not recover from the back-to-back goals as they were shutout for the final two periods and outshot in the game 32-23, ultimately dropping the game to the Stars with a final score of 3-1.
This loss dropped the Griffins’ record to 18-11-6 on the year. Saturday night brought a chance to avenge Friday night’s loss to the Stars as they faced off for a second straight night at Van Andel Arena.
The Griffins got out to an early lead on the Stars, scoring only 3:37 into the game by Francis Pare, his ninth of the season. The Stars evened up the game less than seven minutes later from Matt Fraser, and then retook the lead scoring again three and a half minutes later by Colton Sceviour.
The Griffins bounced back in the second period with two goals in the span of ten minutes, from defenseman Brian Lashoff, then Grant for the go-ahead goal.
Starting goaltender Petr Mrazek had a stellar night for the Griffins stopping 26 of the 28 shots he faced, giving up no goals after the first period.
This win gave the Griffins to 19 wins on the season, which seats them second in the Midwest Division of the Western Conference, only one point behind the division leading Rockford IceHogs.
The Griffins have two games scheduled this week. First, on Wednesday visiting the slumping Peoria Rivermen who are 4-5-0-1 over their last 10 games, and then back home on Friday against the Chicago Wolves who sit in third place behind the Griffins in the division.