McIntyre scores winner as Grand Rapids take comeback victory from Heat

Sunday, 03.02.2014 / 12:45 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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McIntyre scores winner as Grand Rapids take comeback victory from Heat

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - David McIntyre's third-period goal completed the Grand Rapids Griffins' 5-2 comeback win over the Abbotsford Heat Saturday in American Hockey League action.

McIntyre gave the Griffins the lead for the first time in the game at 8:39 of the third. Nick Jensen's point shot was redirected by McIntyre at the side of the net. The Pefferlaw, Ont. native also picked up an assist on the night.

Andrj Nestrasil, Jeff Hoggan, Jordan Tootoo and Teemu Pulkkinen also scored for Grand Rapids (35-17-5), who have won five consecutive games and moved past Texas — who's game Saturday was suspended — for first in the Western Conference. Jensen had two assist.

Tom McCollum started the game and allowed two goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Petr Mrazek, who stopped 13 shots through 40 minutes to pick up the win.

Max Reinhart had two goals for Abbotsford (33-18-6), who is winless in four games.

Reinhart has four goals in two games and 17 on the year. He moved into the team scoring lead with 45 points.

Joey MacDonald made 37 saves in the loss.

Reinhart got the Heat on the board early, deflecting Dean Arsene's point shot past McCollum at the 1:23 mark.

The North Vancouver, B.C., native potted his second of the night with just 12 seconds to go in the first period. He finished off a give-and-go with Corey Locke, beating McCollum short side, top corner.

Nestrasil got Grand Rapids on the board at 13:20 of the second period. After a pair of Abbotsford players failed to clear the puck it bounced right to the Czech Republic native, who quickly beat MacDonald glove side for his seventh of the season.

The Griffins tied the game at 4:34 of the third period. From behind the net, Hoggan quickly stuffed the puck between the post and MacDonald's skate.

McIntyre scored to put the visitors up four minutes later.

Tootoo scored an insurance marker with 4:09 to go in the game, picking the corner with a wrist shot from the face-off dot. Pulkkinen added an empty netter with less than two minutes to play.

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For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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