Griffins edge Admirals, 3-2

Goalie Tom McCollum stopped 29 shots and the Griffins goalpost stopped five as Grand Rapids beat the Milwaukee Admirals Saturday in Grand Rapids, 3-2.

Admirals forward Chris Mueller scored his 50th career goal as an Admiral and 100th point with Milwaukee.

He became the 12th player in Admirals AHL history to reach the milestone in the respective categories.
The Admirals were held scoreless in the first period in part because of Griffins goalie McCollum and in part due to the goalposts: three Admirals shots clanged off posts and one hit the crossbar. The Griffins scored the lone goal in the first period when Francis Pare flipped a pass from behind the Admirals net to Tomas Tatar. Tatar skated right to left in front of goalie Jeremy Smith and flipped his ninth goal of the season into the net at 9:36 of the first period.
Milwaukee tied the score early in the second period. Griffins goalie McCollum went behind his net to play the puck but was ambushed by Admirals forward Rob Slaney. Slaney fed a pass to the front of the net as McCollum scampered to return to his crease. The pass found Zack Stortini, whose quick shot went through McCollum’s legs for his fifth goal of the season at 3:20.

Grand Rapids reclaimed the lead with 14.8 seconds left in the second period when Brian Lashoff’s shot from the point went through a pile of bodies in front of Smith in the waning seconds of a Griffins power play.

The Griffins put the game out of reach with a goal at 8:00 of the third period from Brendan Smith.

Milwaukee did score with 1:10 to play to make it 3-2. With goalie Smith pulled for an extra attacker, Mueller scored his 13th goal of the season standing above the crease. Taylor Beck and Victor Bartley recorded the assists.

Milwaukee finished the 2011 calendar year with a record of 44-20-4-5, a .664 points percentage. Milwaukee returns home Sunday, Jan. 1 at 5:00 pm against Peoria.