HOUSTON — The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Houston Aeros 3-2 at the Toyota Center Sunday night to even their best-of-five series at 1-1.
The Griffins opened the scoring 4:16 into the first period when Riley Sheahan dropped a puck back for Tomas Tatar who beat Darcy Kuemper glove-side. The Griffins outshot Houston 11-5 in the first 20 minutes.
Grand Rapids added to their lead with a power play goal midway through the second period. Nathan Paetsch’s shot hit Tomas Jurco and was redirected into the net with one second left on the power play. Grand Rapids continued to dominate in the shots category, outshooting the Aeros 19-6 in the second frame.
Jurco added his second of the night with 5:54 left in the third period when he followed his own shot and completed a wrap around goal from behind the net to make it 3-0 Grand Rapids. Houston would add a couple of goals late to make things interesting, but couldn’t complete the rally.
Houston netminder Darcy Kuemper was outstanding again, this time in a losing effort, stopping 31 of 34 shots. Petr Mrazek turned away 19 of 21 shots for the Griffins.
The remainder of the series will now be played in Grand Rapids. Game three is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night at Van Andel Arena. Tickets can be purchased at griffinshockey.com.