Marlies Rally to Top Griffins 4-2|
Late collapse leads to fourth straight loss...
By Jason Kasiorek
January 29th, 2016
The Griffins deserved a better fate, bouncing back from a 4-0 whitewash at the hands of the Toronto Marlies and outplaying the league leaders for most of the game. But a late collapse and two iffy goals allowed by starter Thomas McCollum allowed the Marlies to walk away with another win in the comfy confines of Van Andel Arena. The Griffins got a shorthanded goal from Andy Miele (9) and a third period tally from Anthony Mantha (12), but were unable to hold the Marlies who scored three goals in the final six and a half minutes of the game to break it wide open. McCollum made 24 saves for his second straight loss, dropping his record to 4-8-0.
Campbell sprung Aubry up the middle and he tried to sneak a puck through five-hole, but Bibeau squeezed the pads together. Two-on-one Mantha and Zengerle, Mantha drew the defender and dished to Zengerle who sucked out Bibeau but couldn't get the puck over him. Great chance in front by Tangradi with a redirect on the doorstep. Miele short handed, passed the puck to himself off the boards to beat the defender, then went in two-on-one with Tangradi froze Bibeau and wired a shot in over his shoulder, glove side to give GR a 1-0 lead. The Griffins really carried the play the second half of the period. Shots on goal: GR 16 - Tor 7.
Hoggan nice chance, but he ran out of room. The Marlies took an undisciplined penalty during a scrum, giving the Griffins the man advantage. Grand Rapids started five forwards as the 1st power play unit, but it did not help them generate much offense. Aubry stunned Holl with a heavy hit in the corner. Brian Lashoff under pressure, broke out and fed Tyler Bertuzzi deep for a chance. Mantha raced back, picked the puck carriers pocket and sent it back up ice. Brennan fired a long shot through McCollum's legs to even things up, taking advantage of some bodies in front of the Griffins netminder. Bertuzzi with a huge blast from the circle that just rimmed the crossbar, but stayed out. McCollum made a highlight reel save late in the period, diving across the crease and just knocking the puck wide. Shots on goal: GR 13 - Tor 10.
Andreas Athanasiou got behind the D and rocketed in on Bibeau but couldn't slide the puck past him. Tangradi in front on the powerplay tipped a shot just wide. Mantha stole the puck on a broken play and shot in on Bibeau, circled the net, and then firing a bad angle shot in off the goaltender for a 2-1 lead. The Grand Rapids penalty killing unit had several great scoring chances, but could not extend the lead. Holl tied things up late in the third for the Marlies when he drove to the net and somehow got a shot past McCollum shortside. Mantha with a couple of pops at the puck in front of Bibeau, but couldn't get the puck through. Nosek with a sick move in the slot to generate a fantastic scoring chance. Hyman scored the game-winner with under two minute left when he went through the crease and shoved the puck through McCollum. The Marlies added insult to injury with an empty netter about a minute later, capping a 4-2 victory. Shots on goal: GR 19 - ROC 13. For the Game: GR 44 - Roc 49.
Callahan - Athanasiou - Nosek
Bertuzzi - Miele - Frk
Tangradi - Zengerle - Mantha
Hoggan - Aubry - Campbell
Lashoff - Sproul
Ouellet - Russo
Paetsch - Jensen
#11 Cleary - Lower Body Injury
#23 Grant - Injury
#32 Hirschfeld - Seizure
#55 Kindl - Healthy Scratch
Tangradi - Zengerle - Athanasiou
Ouellet - Sproul
Bertuzzi - Callahan - Mantha
Frk - Miele
Miele - Tangradi
Paetsch - Jensen
Nosek - Aubry
Lashoff - Ouellet
The Griffins played well enough to win except for a couple of minutes at the end of the game. While I am not throwing McCollum completely under the bus, both of the last two goals were not necessarily dangerous and looked like he should have had them. You also expect your veteran netminder to close the door to protect a lead, which did not happen yet again.
The team as a whole had a lot of jump, and were really up on their toes showing off the team speed and frustrating the Marlies who just could not get any space or separation.
Mantha in particular looked very good, with several scoring chances and a couple of nice defensive plays. He also kept his feet moving and was flying around the ice.
Bryan Lashoff had a strong night on the blueline, breaking up chances and keeping his head up to make some nice breakouts. The Marlies stopped trying to come into the zone on his side as the game progressed because he took everything away.
Callahan was very noticeable, especially on the forecheck where he was a demon. While he didn't have a lot of chances, he took a lot of punishment in front of the net and played a great support role.
Another shout out to the 4th line for a strong game. Aubry and Campbell specifically were tough to play against and brought energy and a chippy physical game. Jeff Hoggan used his speed to stretch the defense and set up a couple of scoring chances and raised the bar with his compete level.
Not sure what was going on with Nick Jensen who missed some shifts the second half of the game, and was missing from the bench at times. Hopefully it was just an equipment issue and not an injury.