The Grand Rapids Griffins were down two to zero in the series, but back on home ice they were not going to make life easy on the Texas Stars.
Things did not look good for the Griffins at the beginning of the game because the Stars were all over them. Fortunately, about seven minutes into the game Tomas Jurco lit the lamp on a wraparound goal.
Jurco’s goal sparked the team, which started playing with more fire for the rest of the period and into the second, but Jurco was not done scoring goals in the first.
Maxime Fortunus took a slashing penalty twelve minutes into the period; about one minute later Riley Sheahan found Tomas Jurco sitting at the backdoor and he pt the puck into the open net to give the Griffin a two goal lead.
In the second period, the Griffins kept pouring it on the Stars. Andrej Nestrasil scored less than thirty seconds in the period, Teemu Pulkkinen blasted a puck from the top of the right circle past the Texas goaltender (which ended up chasing him from the net), and Tomas Jurco picked up his hat trick by picking up another backdoor goal.
Once the Griffins were up big on the Stars, they decided to change their game plan and started beating on the Griffins, most of which was not legal.
Cutris McKenzie elbowed Tomas Jurco, in what can only be descried as a gutless and goonish action.
The third period went more Texas’ way and they were able to scored two goals on the Griffins in short period of time, but after that the Griffins clamped down on defense and made life harder on the Stars.
In the final thirty seconds of the game the goonery on Curtis McKenzie was once again on display. Evans and McKenzie were battling out front and both players were giving each other chops and once the whistle blew Mitch Callahan jumped in to protect Evans. Both Evans and Callahan, who tried to take off his cage to fight McKenzie, but the official did not allow him to, were ready to go with McKenzie, but instead McKenzie went directly for Jurco once the official release him.
Evans received a double minor and a ten minute misconduct for continuing the altercation, while McKenzie only receive a five-minute major for fighting.
Game four is at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Grand Rapids and it will be an interesting one to say the least. Our own, Tom Mitsos will be covering the game from Van Andel Arena.
How did the Red Wings do?
Riley Sheahan was a minus one on the night and had zero shots on net; on shot on net will not cut it for Sheahan.
Tomas Jurco register a hat trick, was elbowed in the face, got into a fight at the end of the game, and was named the first star. I would say that is a successful game for the young forward.
Petr Mrazek had a terrific game for Grand Rapids and other than Jurco’s goal scoring prowess was the reason the Griffins won.