Svechnikov Leads Griffins over Moose 4-2|
Second year sniper notches goal and a pair of assists in win...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 7th, 2018
The red hot Griffins kept up their winning ways, handing the western conference leading Manitoba Moose a 4-2 loss, Grand Rapids' third straight win over the Moose. Evgeny Svechnikov served notice early, scoring just under 4 minutes in and was a force all night for the home team. The Griffins were missing two regulars form the blueline in Joe Hicketts and Dan Renouf, but got strong games from the rest of the defense, including goals from Robbie Russo and Filip Hronek. Matt Lorito finished the scoring with a late empty netter and starter Jared Coreau 18th win of the season, turning aside 25 shots.
Grand Rapids with a lot of jump off the opening faceoff, clearly trying to have a good start against Manitoba. An early power play for the Griffins, and Svechnikov fired a rocket from the circle that just squeezed past Comrie for a 1-0 lead. The Moose answered back soon after, taking advantage of their own powerplay, with Robinson putting a shot in over Coreau's glove from the right circle. Loose puck to the side of the Manitoba net and Comrie slid out to snare it but got caught out of the net. Svechnikov to the front, but Grand Rapids was unable to get the puck to him cleanly for a shot despite a flurry of chances. Defender Patrick McCarron, making his season debut, with a big hit along the boards, stripped the puck away and ensured it got out of the zone. Great work by Vili Saarijarvi on the point on the powerplay to break a check and carry the puck to the net. He centered for Russo who double-clutched, waited until Svechnikov moved in front and then wired a shot past Comrie for a 2-1 lead. Shots on goal: GR 17 - Man 8.
The second period was more of the same as the Griffins struck early to extend the lead. Matt Ford found Hronek at the point, Hronek took the pass, shifted to the side to open up a lane and then snuck a shot through traffic and into the net behind Comrie for to extend the lead to 3-1. The game started to get more chippy as Manitoba tried to up the intensity and mount a comeback. Dominik Shine dropped the gloves with Beaudoin for a bout by the penalty boxes. Shine easily landed the more punishing of blows, but could not get Beaudoin's helmet off, allowing the Moose defender to absorb more hits (and throw more back). Late in the period Eric Tangradi took a puck off the right skate and went down to the ice. He was not able to get back up under his own power for quite a while and had to be helped off the ice. Shots on goal: GR 12 - Man 9.
Tangradi back on the bench to start the third and everyone takes a collective deep breath. Grand Rapids still carrying play with several good chances early. Buddy Robinson picked up his second of the night off a scramble in front. Despite all 5 Griffins being within three feet of the net, none of them could stop Robinson from batting it in from close range. With the lead cut to one, Manitoba started to surge, leaving the Griffins to weather the storm. Sine fought his way to the net but was tied up and couldn't get a shot off. The puck came back to Russo at the point, but Russo's big shot just missed. Great work by Shine at the line, battling to get the puck into the zone with control. The Moose are really throwing everything they have at the Griffins to try and tie the score in the closing minutes. Comrie to the bench for the extra skater, but Grand Rapids comes and with the puck and Lorito with a burst of speed and a nice move broke free and fired it into the empty net. Robinson trying to get after McIlrath after the goal in the worst way, and had to be restrained by the officials. Grand Rapids beats Manitoba for the third straight time 4-2. Shots on goal: GR 10 - Man 10. For the game: GR 39 - Man 17.
#26 Tangradi - #10 Street - #73 Puempel
#28 Lorito - #23 Turgeon - #45 Campbell
#55 Ford- #47 Elkins/#25 Holmstrom - #77 Svechnikov
#25 Holmstrom - #15 Elson - #65 Shine
#12 McCarron - #52 McIlrath
#13 Hronek - #5 Russo
#18 Lashoff - #9 Saarijarvi
Starter: #31 Coreau
Backup: #30 McCollum
#2 Hicketts - Knee
#20 Renouf - Injured
Tangradi - Street - Puempel
Lorito - Hronek
Ford - Homstrom - Svechnikov
Russo - Saarijarvi
Turgeon - Campbell
Lashoff - McIlrath
Ford - Elkins
McCarron - Russo
Have to give kudos to the Griffins defense, down two regulars to injury. Robbie Russo played another strong game and looks to be building up. He made some very heads up decisions with the puck under pressure and was solid on the powerplay, even scoring a goal. Hronek and Saarijarvi both had strong strong games and looked much more seasoned then the rookies they are. Hronek in particular has really elevated his level of play the second half, offensively posting 14 points (4 goals + 10 assists) in his last 17 games with a +14 and 29 shots on goal. He has also shown a knack for adjusting and finding ways to make plays. Patrick McCarron had a strong season debut and did not look out of place. On the contrary he looked very poised and comfortable, moving the puck well up ice and using his skating to cut off the puck carrier and make defensive plays. the 6'3 205 pound defender also laid out a couple of big hits to separate the puck carrier from the puck. He looked really good in the prospects tournament and easily could have been in the mix from the start of the season if not for the numbers ahead of him.