Marlies Drop Close Contest with Griffins

Brunnstrom's third period goal goals lead Griffins past Marlies 2-1

Canadian Press
February 25, 2012

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TORONTO _ Everything Ben Scrivens did right was undone by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Grand Rapids Griffins left-winger Fabian Brunnstrom beat the Toronto goaltender with a wrist shot from a bad angle by the side boards midway through the third period.

The goal stood up as the winner as the Griffins nipped the Marlies 2-1 in American Hockey League action Saturday.

``It just handcuffed me a little bit, high on the far side,'' Scrivens said. ``It found a hole and found its way in. I can't sugarcoat it, it's one I definitely want back.''

Marlies coach Dallas Eakins was quick defend his goaltender after the game.

``He played an excellent, excellent game. ... That was a tough goal.''

The Marlies appeared to tie the game with 39 seconds remaining in the third, but referee Tim Mayer waved off the goal ruling the puck was redirected in by a high stick.

``The thing you have to look at is the ref's view of things, and he's seeing a stick that starts high but it's about where it is when it makes contact with the puck,'' said Eakins. ``That's why I think it's important to have video review in this league.

``I can go in and have a look at the video (after the game) and it looks like the stick is at the crossbar when it makes contact, but it's impossible to see that when you're on the ice and it's happening at full speed.''

Francis Pare also scored for the Griffins, who won their second consecutive game to improve to 23-21-9 on the season.

Nazem Kadri provided the lone goal for the Marlies, who lost for the second time in three outings to fall to 30-19-6.

``Our start was not very good,'' said Eakins, whose team was playing for the first time in five days. ``I expected us to be a little rusty for five or 10 minutes, but not for 25 minutes.

``We were dopey in the first period. Their 'D' was joining the attack and our forwards were surprised by it.''

Grand Rapids goaltender Ty Conklin made 24 stops for the victory, including an impressive glove save through traffic in the third period, while Scrivens turned aside 36-of-38 shots.

Scrivens was sharp throughout the game, especially when Grand Rapids had a two-man advantage for a full two minutes early in the third period, but the Marlies goalie felt he should've been even better.

``I feel like I made two mistakes and they both ended up in the back of the net, so that's frustrating,'' Scrivens said. ``You're never going to play a perfect game, but that second goal is definitely one I'll look at and wish I had back.

``I had a lot of positives in the game, too, and I want to try and focus on the positives.''

The teams were tied at 1-1 after the first period - despite the Griffins holding a 17-7 advantage in shots - and the score remained tied through 40 minutes.

Kadri opened the scoring just 64 seconds into the contest when he won a race to a loose puck deep in the Griffins' zone and beat Conklin with a backhand deke.

Grand Rapids peppered Scrivens with shots for the rest of the opening frame, and finally were rewarded when Pare finished off a bang-bang passing play and picked the top right corner at 19:53.

The Marlies conclude a 10-game home stand when they host the arch-rival Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday.

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