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Griffins Comeback Falls Short, Fall to Iowa in OT

Griffins Comeback Falls Short, Fall to Iowa in OT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- The Grand Rapids Griffins and Iowa Wild squared off in a rematch of Friday nights thrilling down to the wire battle.

The Wild avenged their loss as Brandon Duhaime’s overtime goal sealed the victory for the Wild, 4-3. Griffins goalie Kaden Fulcher made his AHL debut, getting the loss.

Grand Rapids found themselves in a two-goal hole but were still able to get a point by scoring two goals in the final frame to send the game into overtime. The Griffins have not lost a regulation game at home yet this season (3-0-3). The Griffins will play at home for their next five consecutive games.

The Griffins jumped out to a 1-0 lead early on. Defenseman Joe Hicketts found a streaking Kyle Criscuolo in the slot, and he was able to redirect a shot that beat Iowa goaltender Dereck Baribeau.

Iowa, who scored three tallies in only 36 seconds on Friday night, found more success scoring rather quickly as they scored two unanswered goals in only 56 seconds to take a 2-1 lead. Matt Bartkowski found the back of the net at the right point, and Mitch McLain capitalized on a Griffins turnover that caught Fulcher by surprise. The score stood at 2-1 at the end of the first period.

Grand Rapids stood tall in the middle frame as Iowa spent some time in the offensive zone, testing the young Griffins goaltender. The Griffins penalty kill was able to keep the game at a one-goal deficit when they kept Iowa from scoring on a full two 5-on-3 powerplay with Fulcher making save after save. Neither team was able to find the back of the net as the score remained at a 2-1 Iowa lead.

The Wild were able to increase their advantage to a pair of goals when Connor Dewar was able to gather a juicy rebound and beat a sprawling Fulcher for the tally. The Griffins scored just over a minute later as Turner Elson stole the puck in the Wild zone and found Givani Smith, who shot the puck into an open net. Grand Rapids would later tie the game on a power-play goal coming from Riley Barber. Barber was able to connect on a snipe from the right face-off circle. Barber now has 13 goals this season, which ties him for third-most in the AHL.

The matchup ended in a 3-3 tie, and the game went into overtime. The extra frame began a little slow, with neither team wanting to do too much and make a mistake. Duhaime gathered the puck from behind his own net, and the Wild found themselves on a 2-on-1. Duhaime sent a wrist shot on net that beat Fulcher from the left circle to win the game for Iowa.

Fulcher was able to settle down after two quick Wild goals in the first period. The young goaltender made 25 saves on 29 shots. The Wild came up empty on the power play going 0/4, while Grand Rapids was able to score one goal on the man advantage, going 1/4 on the night.

Griffins forwards Tyler Spezia and Dominik Shine were both in action as defensemen for a second consecutive game. The Griffins record is now 9-6-3.

Grand Rapids will host the Cleveland Monsters on Tuesday, April 20, with game time at 7 p.m.



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    Anthony Noffke covers the Grand Rapid Griffins for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHGriffins.

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