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Glendening sparks Griffins' win

West Michigan native scores in Grand Rapids debut

Thursday, 12.20.2012 / 12:12 AM ET / Recap
By Randy Cleves  - Griffins Senior Director of Public Relations
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Glendening sparks Griffins\' win

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – In his Grand Rapids Griffins debut on Wednesday, former University of Michigan captain and East Grand Rapids High School star Luke Glendening – now the only Greater Grand Rapids native to ever play for the Griffins – scored the game’s first goal on his first shot during his first shift, sparking the home squad to an eventual 4-2 victory over the Rochester Americans.

And, to cap things off, he was named the game’s First Star.

Glendening, whose goal 2:49 into the game snapped a Grand Rapids scoreless streak of 123:39 that dated to the final minute of a 4-2 win over Rockford on Dec. 9, showed the same nose for the net that he has exhibited this season in Toledo, where he leads the ECHL’s Walleye with 14 goals. He joined in a scramble around the Rochester cage and jammed the puck past Connor Knapp at the left post.

The Griffins (14-9-1-1) then withstood two rallies by the Americans (12-10-2-1) to earn a crucial victory that keeps them in a tie with Rockford for first place in the Midwest Division. They’ll play the second game of a season-high seven game home stand this Friday when the North Division and Western Conference-leading Abbotsford Heat visit Van Andel Arena at 7 p.m.

Rochester’s Phil Varone countered Glendening’s early goal with a backdoor tally during a power play at 8:17 of the first, but the Griffins retook the lead at the 10:59 mark. Jeff Hoggan stole the puck just inside the Rochester line, quickly skated into the left circle and ripped a shot past Knapp from the dot.

The Amerks made it 2-for-2 on the power play and 2-2 on the scoreboard 5:55 into the second period, as T.J. Brennan took a pass in the slot and sent a wrister into the top right corner. Grand Rapids, though, grabbed its third lead of the night at 12:20 when Joakim Andersson skated across the top of Knapp’s crease to redirect Chad Billins’ shot from the left point.

Francis Pare scored an insurance goal into an empty net with 52 seconds remaining in the third, becoming just the second player in Griffins history to reach 90 goals (Michel Picard, 158).

Petr Mrazek made 19 saves to snap a personal two-game skid and improve to 8-3-0, while Knapp finished with 28 stops in defeat.

THREE STARS: 1. GR Glendening (goal); 2. GR Andersson (game-winning goal); 3. RCH Brennan (power play goal)

SCHEDULE

HOME
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