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Griffins Get Schooled by Marlies in Toronto

Griffins Get Schooled by Marlies in Toronto

TORONTO, On. – Gryffindor may be the school of wizardry where one learns from mistakes and the basics of being a wizard. Well, the Grand Rapids Griffins may not be learning about the basics of wizardry, but the class was in session when they faced the Marlies, and they learned a lackluster first period does not equal success through the rest of the game, costing them the final score of 4-1.

The Marlies began the first period by trying to establish a forecheck. Both teams wanted to feel each other out, and the Marlies began sending tests to goaltender Jussi Olkinuora.

His first exam? The glove. Furthermore, it didn’t wash the one-time pass from Logan Shaw to Noel Hoefenmayer.

The next class is PK 101. Simple lesson and won’t be long. Don’t leave Alex Steeves alone. 18 seconds into the power play, Steeves was alone in the circles and blasted a one-timed shot to hit netting. To that point, it was Steeves’s second straight power-play goal.

Now I’m not your high school guidance counsellor, so I legally can’t give advice, but what I will say is, when you’re only getting three shots in the first 17 minutes of the game, that spells issues. The Griffins’ defence played sloppy; they were hemmed into the zone. The Marlies hardly looked like they were trying compared to last week’s tilt against the Americans. After their first recess, the Griffins knew what they needed to do, and it was painted all over their face.

In the “scoring your first goal of the game “class, the Griffins created a textbook play to get the first one under your belt, which is sometimes the hardest. Stay in front of the net and see what happens. In this case, a turnover by Mac Hollowell inches away from the crease created an opportunity for Joel L’Esperance to fumble it to Cross Hanas for the goal.

By the time two-thirds of the game was finished, you could tell the Griffins were learning from their mistakes, but they still had to pay for them by scoring the tying goal in the third. However, the old expression “you can lead a horse to water…” remained true.

The third period showed no progress and nothing built from the Griffins, and the class was dismissed when the Marlies notched two goals.

Nick Abruzzese scored the first goal of the third with a shot from the slot, which passed Olkinuora.

Steeves would also add another goal courtesy of an empty net.

The Marlies deflated the tires of the Grand Rapids school bus before it could even get to the school. Had Grand Rapids played a better first period, they would have had more momentum going into the rest of the game, but they were climbing uphill for the better part of the contest.

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    Zack Power covers the Toronto Marlies for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHMarlies.

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