By JOSEPH OBRYCKI, Grand Rapids Griffins Beat Reporter
The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped Wednesday night’s game to the struggling Peoria Rivermen 2-1. This was their third loss over their last four games and seventh loss of the season.
After the teams skated to a scoreless first period, all three goals were scored in the second period. Peoria, having lost their previous three games in a row, scored the game’s first goal four minutes into the period. Adam Cracknell scored his third on the season unassisted.
Just over four minutes later Griffins center Riley Sheahan evened the game at one with an unassisted shorthanded goal, his fourth of the year. The Rivermen, still on the power play, took the lead right back just over a minute later.
Jaden Schwartz scored his sixth of the year, with assists going to T.J. Hensick and Phil McRae.
Both the Griffins and Rivermen were unable to find the back of the net for the rest of the game. The Rivermen were able to kill off a late high-sticking penalty that effectively turned into a two-man advantage due to Grand Rapids pulling goaltender Petr Mrazek.
The Griffins had plenty of opportunities to score as they outshot Peoria 29-23 for the game. Griffins’ Head coach Jeff Blashill said after the game, “I thought we had lots of chances in the first, and then I didn’t think we had a whole lot of chances after that and that’s a credit to them (defensively).”
This loss drops the Griffins’ record to 11-7-1 on the year, still only one point behind division leading Rockford IceHogs.
The Griffins headed back to the ice Friday on the road against the interdivision Chicago Wolves, who are just three points back of Grand Rapids in the standings.
After that, the Griffins will head back home on Sunday afternoon to face the division-leading IceHogs, with first place on the line.