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BeitragVerfasst: 31.01.2018, 02:39 
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Abbotsford Heat hope a last-minute goal keeps their season alive for more than one extra game. Marcus Granlund scored a power-play goal with a minute left in regulation as the Heat staved off elimination with a 2-1 win in Game 3 against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Corey Locke also scored for the Heat, who still trail 2-1 in the best-of-five series with Game 4 scheduled for Friday in Grand Rapids. "We came here and got the first one, and we need two more," Granlund said. "Were taking it day by day, and game by game, and we have to keep going. We have to keep pushing and win the next game, too." After dropping the first two games on their home ice, the Heat returned the favour by rallying in the final period for a pair of goals to erase a 1-0 deficit and earn the critical road win. "Our backs are against the wall, we realize that," Abbotsford coach Troy Ward said. "We came on the trip knowing we would play 20 minutes at a time, and the good thing about our team is were never too high or too low. "We felt good about Game 1, and obviously we stubbed our toe in Game 2, but we felt pretty good about ourselves coming in tonight." Granlunds game winner came after Grand Rapids Jeff Hoggan was whistled for high sticking with 1:20 left to put the Heat on the power play. Former Griffin Chad Billins delivered the pass to Granlund, who knocked it past Grand Rapids goalie Petr Mrazek. "It was a great pass by Billins, and I just shot it and it was a goal," Granlund said. "It was very exciting." Abbotsford went 1 for 9 on the power play in Games 1 and 2, and was 0 for 3 in Game 3 before the final goal. "Our power play has struggled so far in the series, so that was the bright eyed part of the game," Ward said. "It was a good play by Granlund, and hes been probably our catalyst all year." Grand Rapids, the defending Calder Cup champions, grabbed an early 1-0 lead on a power-play goal with 2:33 remaining in the first period when Tomas Jurco scored on a wrist shot off a pass from Riley Sheahan. Heat goalie Joni Ortio helped keep it a one-goal game with 19 stops through the first two periods and the Heat finally broke through less than six minutes into the third. Locke ripped a shot past Mrazek to tie the game before Granlunds goal at 18:58. "I thought as the game wore on, we skated better," Ward said. "I thought we had a couple really good pushes in the second there and I thought that made a difference with our confidence coming out in the third. We just picked it up after that. "This game had a lot of the same characteristics as Game 1. We got fortunate bounces at the right time and Ortio played a good game again." Ortio stopped 34 shots, while Mrazek finished with 23 saves. 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Mike Moustakas and Jarrod Dyson hit RBI singles in the second inning against Kevin Correia (4-10), and that was all Vargas needed.KELOWNA, B.C. - When Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier didnt make Canadas team for the Sochi Olympics, the ice dancers put themselves on autopilot.It was the low point on a roller-coaster season of crazy highs and heartbreaking lows.We really had to keep moving forward, so we had to go home, take it one day at a time really, because we couldnt really dwell on: Well, that was it, Gilles said. We had to turn our minds off for a little bit.Gilles, from Toronto, and Poirier, from Unionville, Ont., captured a silver medal in ice dance at Skate Canada International on Saturday night, and reflected on how far theyve come from last season.Its so nice to be prepared coming into the Grand Prix season this year, I think there are so many positives coming out of this competition, Poirier said.Their Sochi Olympic campaign got off to a nightmare start when Poirier broke his ankle in May of 2013, a break so severe it took three plates and 13 screws to repair it. He wasnt back on the ice until August, and the two werent able to do full run-throughs of their programs until about three weeks before their Grand Prix debut last November.All the while, the American-born Gilles was nervously waiting for her Canadian citizenship, which she was finally awarded a few weeks before the Olympic trials, making her eligible to compete for Canada in Sochi.It wasnt to be — they would finish fourth at the trials, narrowly missing the team.The first couple days (of Sochi) were hard for me, Gilles said. I couldnt watch the first couple of days. But then once your competitors and your friends are all there, youre like, OK, I have to, because you want to cheer them on. And as hard as it is for you, it still gives you the motivation for the next four yyears.ddddddddddddGilles and Poirier, who are both 22, didnt have much time to dwell on their disappointment. They were named to the Four Continents team, where they finished second, and then were replacements for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on Canadas team for the world championships, where they finished eighth.I think more at the end of the season, it was like: Aw man!, Gilles said on not making the Sochi team. But we did worlds and we had a positive worlds, so that kind of helped the negative part of it.It gave us a lot of momentum going into this season and we saw what we could achieve with training behind us, and weve tried to really embrace that this season, Poirier added.Gilles and Poirier say they already have more training under their belts this season than they did all of last year, and with the changing landscape of ice dancing post-Olympics — both Virtue and Moir and U.S. Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White are taking the season off to contemplate their futures — are keen to position themselves among the worlds best.We really want to make a big statement this year, said Poirier, who was 14th at the Vancouver Olympics with former partner Vanessa Crone. We really want to show were contenders in this quadrennial, and I think it has to start now. Weve really been pushing ourselves because now is the time where we can really break into the ranks.Looking back on the stresses of last season, especially the nerve-wracking wait for citizenship, Gilles said, I wouldnt change it.Were still hoping for our goal, a medal, for the next one, so were still pushing, she added.The end goal is still the same, Poirier said. And were still hoping to get there three and a half years from now. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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