GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Grand Rapids Griffins have been looking for a game to get them over their early-season slump. They may have finally played that game. Grand Rapids found themselves in familiar territory in front of 4,625 at Van Andel Arena, trailing 3-0 before they made a marvelous comeback to beat the Iowa Wild, 4-3 in a shootout. Ben Street had two goals in regulation and added the game-winner in the shootout to help the Griffins snap a three-game losing streak.
Iowa would strike first, just about five minutes into the opening period. Sam Anas scored for the Wild beating the five-hole of Jared Coreau.
Zach Nastasiuk appeared to have tied the game at one at the 6:42 mark. The goal was waived off due to an incidental contact call as Dan Renouf and Wild defenseman Hunter Warner were tangled up and ended up knocking the Wild goalie Niklas Svedberg down, resulting in no goal.
Iowa would strike again on the power play after an errant Griffins pass deflected off of the official near the goal which the Wild’s Gerald Mayhew would pounce on and increase their lead to 2-0. The Wild would eventually strike again on Justin Kloos‘ power play tally to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the home team.
Defenseman Brian Lashoff would finally get the Griffins on the board and cut into the Iowa lead. Eric Tangradi was credited with the assist on a nifty pass from the blue line. Ben Street trimmed the Iowa lead to one collecting a bouncing puck to beat the Iowa goalie. The Griffins trailed by one going into the third period.
Ben Street would even up the contest by scoring his second goal of the night as the Griffins were on a 5-on-3 advantage. Captain Matt Ford fed the puck to Street who one-timed a shot to beat Svedberg.
Regulation would end with the match tied at three goals apiece. The Griffins dominated the overtime period by getting off six shots while Iowa could not get a single shot recorded. At one point, the Wild had a 2-on-0 rush but had trouble gathering the puck and could not get a clean shot off. The game went into a shootout after both teams failed to score during the 3-on-3 period.
Iowa would lead off the shootout contest coming up empty. Lashoff led off for Grand Rapids and came up empty. Iowa came up empty in their second attempt right before Street connected for a goal in the second round for the Griffins. Jared Coreau made a nice toe save on Kloos to seal the comeback win for the Griffins.
With the win, the Griffins record improved to 10-13-3. Grand Rapids outshot Iowa 44 to 28, with Coreau stopping 25 shots and Svedberg stopped 40.
The Griffins were without Matt Puempel, Matt Lorito, and Turner Elson, all among the team’s top scorers.
Grand Rapids will be home this Friday night to host the Chicago Wolves and then again on Saturday when the Milwaukee Admirals come into town.
Three Stars of the Game
★ – GR – Ben Street (two goals, shootout winner)
★★ – IA – Justin Kloos (power play goal, two assists)
★★★ – GR – Matt Ford (two assists)