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Mrazek leads Griffs' third straight win

Rookie goalie makes 24 saves in 4-2 victory over Milwaukee

Wednesday, 11.7.2012 / 3:31 PM ET / Recap
By Randy Cleves  - Griffins Senior Director of Public Relations
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Mrazek leads Griffs\' third straight win

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins extended their winning streak to three games and climbed above the .500 mark for the first time this season on Wednesday, claiming a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals in their 12th annual matinee game at Van Andel Arena.

Rookie netminder Petr Mrazek made 24 saves to backstop the Griffins (5-4-1-1) to their first home win and improve his personal record to 3-0, marking the third-best debut ever for a Grand Rapids goalie. Only Ty Conklin (2011-12) and Mathieu Chouinard (2000-01) enjoyed better starts (5-0) in a Griffins uniform than Mrazek, who currently ranks third in the AHL in both goals against average (1.30) and save percentage (0.954).

Grand Rapids, which last won three straight during a five-game streak from Feb. 22-March 3, will try to maintain its hot hand on Friday when the Rockford IceHogs pay a 7 p.m. visit to Van Andel Arena.

The Griffins jumped ahead 13:54 into the game on one of just three shots they launched during the opening period, as Riley Sheahan tallied his first goal of the season in shorthanded fashion on a wrister from the slot that beat Jeremy Smith.

Mrazek, meanwhile, was a busy man during the first 20 minutes of his home debut, facing 12 shots and allowing only a 5-on-3 power play goal to Jonathon Blum, who blistered a shot over Mrazek’s right shoulder from the top of the left circle at 15:56.

Early in the middle frame, just seconds after Brendan Smith was denied on a breakaway chance, the home team took a 2-1 lead. Chad Billins teed-up a slap shot from the right point that stayed low to the ice, allowing Francis Pare to redirect it home from the doorstep at the 6:15 mark.

The Admirals (4-6-0-0) once again answered to knot the score before the second intermission. Jack MacLellan brought the puck out of the right corner and threw it out front, where it caromed off the shaft of Juuso Puustinen’s stick and past Mrazek at 12:38.

Joakim Andersson gave the Griffins their third lead during a power play 11:18 into the final period. Billins skated toward the net in the right circle and slipped the puck to the top of the crease, where Andersson was positioned to redirect it inside the left post. The assist marked the third of the afternoon for Billins, tying him for the AHL lead with 11 and giving him a pair of three-point games and four multi-point outings in his first 11 professional contests.

Gustav Nyquist tacked on an empty-netter with 30 seconds left, pushing him into a tie for second in the AHL scoring race with 13 points (6-7—13).

GAMES NOTES: Grand Rapids improved to 8-3-0-1 in its annual matinee game, whose 11 a.m. start time today was the earliest ever for a Griffins home contest…The Griffins debuted their new Wednesday game sweaters with an alternate Griffins logo, the first primarily-red jerseys that they will wear regularly since the 2004-05 season.

THREE STARS: 1. GR Andersson (GWG, assist); 2. GR Billins (three assists); 3. GR Mrazek (W, 24 saves)

SCHEDULE

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80