Griffins Update 01/17/12

The Grand Rapids Griffins played a two game road series in Abbotsford on Friday and Saturday, sweeping the Heat in both games by scores of 4-3 and 2-1 in overtime.

In game one, Tomas Tatar, Francis Pare, Brian Lashoff and Landon Ferraro scored for the Griffins and Joey MacDonald stopped 27 shots for the win.

Garnert Exelby scored in regulation and Lashoff won the game in overtime in the second game of the series. Thomas McCollum stopped 32 shots in the win.

The Griffins returned home to face the Houston Aeros a few nights later. Chris Conner and Ferraro lit the lamp but the Griffs ultimately fell 3-2 in a shootout. MacDonald was in net for the loss.

Grand Rapids looked to avenge the defeat at home against the Texas Stars, but McCollum wound up getting shelled and the Griffins lost 6-4. The goal scorers were Willie Coetzee, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Conner.

The Griffs would lose again in the first game of a two game tilt against the Charlotte Checkers. Coetzee and Andersson would score in a 4-2 loss, dropping the Griffins to 13th in the Western Conference.

Nyquist continues to impress, leading the Griffins with 35 points in 33 games, all while being called up to the Red Wings in between. He is the lone representative for Grand Rapids at the AHL All Star game, where he will play for the PlanetUSA All Stars.

Tatar and Conner are 2-3 in scoring, respectively, with the former picking up the pace after a slow start to the year. McCollum is playing better after his call up from the Toledo Walleye (ECHL) and has a 6-4 record with a 3.01 goals against average.

Grand Rapids is currently 13th in the Western Conference with a 15-15-7 record. They are six points out of a playoff spot but also have 3 games at hand on the number eight seed, the Peoria Rivermen.

They play in Charlotte on Tuesday, the Lake Erie Monsters at home on Friday, and the Rochester Americans on Saturday at Van Andel Arena.

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Kyle Busch