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Rivermen hand Griffins 2-0 defeat

Grand Rapids suffers first shutout loss of the AHL season

Saturday, 12.15.2012 / 12:22 AM ET / Recap
By Randy Cleves  - Griffins Senior Director of Public Relations
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Rivermen hand Griffins 2-0 defeat

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Peoria Rivermen broke open a scoreless game by notching three goals in the final 9:01 on Friday at Van Andel Arena, handing the Grand Rapids Griffins their first shutout loss of the season.

Jake Allen made 33 saves to blank the Griffins for the second time in his career, following a 30-save effort in his 2-0 win in Grand Rapids on Jan. 1, 2011. Petr Mrazek was nearly as strong on the other end, denying 29 of 31 shots.

For the Griffins (13-8-1-1), tonight marked the first time in 38 games – exactly a half season’s worth – that they failed to score a goal, dating to a 2-0 home loss to Toronto on March 16.

Midway through the third period, the Rivermen (10-11-2-2) received a fortunate bounce to finally break the ice. After a turnover at the Griffins’ blue line during a line change, Mrazek made the initial stop on Derek Nesbitt, but the rebound caromed off the leg of a crease-crashing Adam Cracknell and into the goal. Referee Graham Skilliter went to the scorer’s table for a video review – the first in a Griffins game under the AHL’s new system this season – before ruling a good goal.

Peoria then made it a 2-0 game with 6:33 left, when Tyler Shattock potted a rebound into a gaping cage from the right side.

Griffins coach Jeff Blashill pulled Mrazek in favor of an extra attacker with just over three minutes remaining, but Jaden Schwartz increased the Peoria margin to three by scoring into the vacated net from center ice at 18:11.

Left with little more than a chance to spoil Allen’s shutout bid, Mrazek again went to the bench as Peoria’s Mark Cundari was called for a hooking penalty with 1:21 remaining, creating a 6-on-4 advantage in skaters for Grand Rapids. But the Griffins still could not solve Allen as the final seconds ticked away.

Grand Rapids killed off all five Peoria power plays, including a chance midway through the second period when the puck was in the Griffins’ zone for two full minutes without a stoppage or line change. However, the Griffins’ own power play was likewise unable to capitalize on its five opportunities.

The Griffins, who’ve won six straight road games, will look to tie the franchise-record streak of seven that was set more than eight years ago when they travel to Toronto to face the Marlies at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

THREE STARS: 1. PEO Allen (W, 33 saves); 2. PEO Cracknell (game-winning goal); 3. GR Mrazek (L, 29 saves)

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80