Griffins Shoot-Down Stars 5-1|
Svechnikov shines with five-point weekend...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 9th, 2020
After watching their late three goal rally fall short in a 4-3 overtime loss on Saturday, the Grand Rapids Griffins were hoping to for different results at Van Andel Arena on Sunday afternoon. They were able to take advantage of a Stars team that had played three games in three nights, blowing open the game with a four goal second period, on their way to a 5-1 win. Evgeny Svechnikov was red hot this weekend notching three points on Sunday for five points (3g-2a) in the two-game series. Pat Nagle was very sharp in net, earning the first star by stopping 34 shots including all 17 he faced in a lopsided first period.
The first period was all Texas, as Grand Rapids could not mount much of a counterattack. The home team was badly outshot and outplayed for large stretches and it looked like a repeat of Saturday night. Coach Simon is already changing up lines to try and get something going. The two highlights of the period were the Griffins penalty killing unit killing off the period's only penalty and an incredible stop by Nagle who had lost his stick. Nagle flashed the glove and made a stabbing catch right at the line that was reviewed for a long time to make sure hadn't crossed the line. Shots on Goal: GR 2 - Tex 17.
The second period didn't start out well either as a penalty to Turgeon less than a minute in left GR down a man. Robertson notched his 20th of the season on the powerplay as he snared a loose puck, walked in and blew it by Nagle. The Griffins got it right back as Chris Terry skated across the slot and stroked it past Bow from long range a minute later to knot the score at one. The Griffins had to kill off another Stars powerplay as Terry went to the box for holding. Great chance by Matt Ford crashing the net for the puck. Play the other way and Nagle a great save, being hit in the mask. The Griffins got some momentum form the PK and you could see them raising their level of play. Chris Terry skated in on net, drew a defender to him and then threaded a pass through Svechnikov's legs to a waiting Rasmussen back door for a tap-in and a 2-1 lead. The Griffins finally get their first powerplay midway through the second and don't take long to convert. After a bang-bang passing play, Svechnikov pounced on a puck in front for a big goal, low glove-side and 3-1 lead. Less than two minutes later Joe Hicketts put a long shot on Bow and Puempel jumped on the rebound and buried it low, glove-side. That was the end of the night for Bow as he was replaced by Oettinger. The game started to get ugly at this point as Turner Elson was looking for some revenge for the hit that Felhaber laid on Moe Seider yesterday. The dropped the gloves in front of the Griffins bench. Elson picked up the win but they both ended up with Majors and Game misconduct for staging a fight. Pearson and Bayreuther came to blows in the corner for a short grappling match. Great clear by Cholowski under pressure in the dying seconds of the period. Shots on goal: GR 15 - Tex 9.
The third period was more back and forth as Dallas tried to climb back into it, but they faded after an initial surge as the effects of three games in three nights began to take its toll. Brian Lashoff closed out the scoring late in the third when his long drive from the point that found its way through traffic and Oettinger's five-hole with Tangradi screening in front. It looked like Tangradi may have gotten a piece of it, but he did get a piece of Oettinger, knocking him down. Then Tango got knocked down as well setting off a small skirmish and leaving the Griffins 4-on-4 for a few minutes. Time ticked down and the Griffins skated away with a 5-1 victory. Shots on goal: GR 7 - Tex 9. For the Game: GR 24 - Tex 35.
#15 Elson - #23 Turgeon - #55 Ford
#37 Svechnikov - #90 Veleno - #25 Terry
#26 Tangradi - #27 Rasmussen - #73 Puempel
#21 Kuffner - #22 Pearson - #32 Spezia
After the first and with Elson's game misconduct the left wings moved around a lot but the lines changed.
LW - #27 Rasmussen - #55 Ford
LW - #23 Turgeon - #25 Terry
LW - #90 Veleno - #73 Puempel
LW - #22 Pearson - #32 Spezia
#2 Hicketts - #53 Seider
#18 Lashoff - #29 McCrea
#44 Cholowski - #36 Wood
Starter: #35 Nagle
Backup: #31 Pickard
#26 Tangradi - Injured
#30 Larsson - Injured
#73 Puempel - #27 Rasmussen - #37 Svechnikov
#53 Seider - #25 Terry
#26 Tangradi - #90 Veleno - #55 Ford
#2 Hicketts - #44 Cholowski
#15 Elson - #23 Turgeon/#73 Puempel
#18 Lashoff - #29 McCrea
#90 Veleno - #22 Pearson
#2 Hicketts - #53 Seider
Pat Nagle had another tremendous night between the pipes for the Griffins, he was the difference maker in the 1st period and keeping his team in the game until they decided to start playing. His 34 saves were a season high, and the lowered his GAA to a miserly 2.19 goals per game and raised his SV% to .922. Given his first real opportunity to play regularly, Nagle is showing he can be a factor in the AHL.
Good game for Svechnikov to cap off a great weekend. He has been working hard, and it is nice to see him rewarded on the scoresheet a bit. He looks to be regaining some speed and the ability turn a bit sharper and change directions on a dime. Earlier in the year he looked more like a big car with no turn radius trying to make a sharp turn when he tried to cut in. Everything just needed a bit more time and space. He still plays his best game when he uses his size and plays physical which was a bit more apparent on Saturday than on Sunday.
It was great to see Tangradi back in the lineup again, especially with McIlrath scratched. He is just a big body and a bit of a deterrent to some of the rough stuff with smaller teammates. On one play, Tangradi just picked up the stars player turned to the side and set him down where he couldn't get at the Griffins player he had been jousting with. His presence around the net is something that has been missing while he was out of the lineup. The Lashoff goal was a direct result of him screening Oettinger and causing havoc in front.
I also have to give a shout out to Alec McCrea who plays such a poised solid defensive game. He is so steady in his own end and has a great stick on the penalty kill. Glad to see him draw back into the lineup after some time on the sidelines.