By Ashley VanOchten / @ashleyvanochten
The Grand Rapids Griffins wasted no time ensuring that the Charlotte Checkers wouldn’t get another win in their rink. The Griffins defeated the Checkers 5-2 at Van Andel Arena on Saturday. The Griffins now move to 29-20-1-1 on the season.
Coming off of a win against the Griffins the previous night, the Checkers struck early in the first period as Ethan Werek found the back of the net on a power play goal making the score 1-0 to end the first frame. The Checkers scored on another power play by Justin Shugg and the Griffins trailed 2-0 in the second period.
Mitch Callahan of the Griffins tipped in Brian Lashoff’s shot to get them on the board for the first time to draw within a goal. Anthony Mantha then stepped up to equalize. Mantha scored his 16th goal of the season and tied the game up 2-2.
The Grand Rapids defense soon came into play to give Charlotte no chance of scoring, which led to some chippiness on the ice. Wasting no time after Mantha’s goal, Bertuzzi dropped the gloves for the first fight of the game. Andy Miele then fed of post-fight momentum and grabbed a rebound to score and give the Griffins a 3-2 lead to end the second period.
Coming back out from the locker room and going into the third period, strong the pressure was put on by Grand Rapids as Callahan scored his second of the night and puts the Griffins ahead 4-2. The scoring didn’t stop there as Tyler Bertuzzi sniped another to make it 5-2.
The Griffins are back in action on Tuesday, February 23rd against the Chicago Wolves with the puck drop at 12 p.m.