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Grand Rapids Griffins


Griffins Learn From Mistakes, Fly Past Marlies

Griffins Learn From Mistakes, Fly Past Marlies

TORONTO, On. – Dictonary.com defines redemption as: “an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.”

I looked at redemption; I saw an early goal, overcoming a hurdle and finishing strong, and in Sunday’s 5-2 win in Toronto, the Griffins did just that.

 Donovan Sebrango scored the game’s opening goal while taking advantage of two Marlies with a broken stick. On a virtual 5-on-3, Grand Rapids didn’t take long to tally just north of 97 seconds into the game.

Their plan for revenge looked to be foiled when the starter for the Griffins was injured due to an awkward slide, and for the Griffins, they had to turn to the goaltender whose opponent had his number. When Jussi Olkinuora stepped in for Victor Brattstrom, he looked shaky, and it would only take three shots for Toronto to notch one past him. 

Nick Abruzzese took the initial shot, Joey Anderson with the subtle tip for a tie game going into the intermission.

Going into the second, the Griffins’ hunger for revenge was in the hands of their goaltender, who the team didn’t look confident in front of.

Seeing how hockey is a two-sided game, they did have their successes with Dominik Shine one-timing a shot passed Dylan Ferguson.

It wouldn’t be much longer before the Griffins would score their third goal of the game, thanks to an extended 4-on-3 power play, where before Joseph Blandisi could re-join the play, a Matt Luff shot had already fooled Ferguson.

By the time the third period rolled around, you could tell the Griffins were keeping up with the Marlies, which wasn’t the case in their last contest. The shots were 22-20 for Grand Rapids, and they were outplaying Toronto at that time. But that didn’t mean Toronto wasn’t going to put up a fight.

Only 94 seconds into the third period, Anderson, with his head up, looked at the pass and…the pass didn’t happen, and the shot went five-hole passed Olkinuora. While Olkinuora may have been square to the wrister, he certainly wasn’t comfortable with his position, in an awkward stance which left him looking ill-confident for the shot.

Grand Rapids finished the game by adding two more, one from Kyle Criscuolo on the tip, with the initial shot from Luff near the circles. 

Ferguson looked irate following the goal, but he didn’t look confident in the crease at any point during the game, and the game ended with an empty netter from Cross Hanas. Four goals against on 21 shots for Ferguson, who went into the game touted as the strong up-and-comer from the ECHL, but the reality is, he just wasn’t ready.

In the end, it was the Griffins ready, ready for redemption. Olkinuora redeemed himself in the second game, although not an all-star performance, one that he can look to as an improvement from his previous game. 

The Griffins proved they’re able to fix their mistakes, and the three periods in this game looked just like the one in the second period on Saturday, controlled, calmed and redeemed.

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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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