Captain Boosts Griffins Over Rampage In 4-2 Win|
Hoggan and Miele pace win with two goals apiece...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 14th, 2015
Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan notched a pair of goals including the game winner to lead his team over the visiting San Antonio Rampage Saturday night at Van Andel Arena. Hoggan, taking advantage of an increase in ice time with Mitch Callahan's season ending injury, also added a power play goal, to match teammate Andy Miele's two goal night. The Griffins earned a small measure of revenge after dropping an overtime heartbreaker to the Rampage on Friday. Netminder Jared Coreau made 24 stops to record his team leading 11th win.
San Antonio playing very physical, finishing checks and thumping the Griffins along the boards. Grand Rapids tried to give a little back, checking Blacker over the boards into the Griffins bench. Tvrdon was interfered with, setting up a GR power play. Zengerle back door, but the puck rolled off his stick. Hoggan on the doorstep chipped a rebound over Houser for a man advantage marker and a 1-0 lead. Coreau caught a break when Bartlett got loose in the slot and missed the net with a rising shot. Trocheck whacked Ferraro a couple of times and Landon dropped the gloves. The Griffins forward quickly landed several blows as another Rampage player grabbed him from behind. Somehow there wasn't an additional penalty to San Antonio. Shots on goal: GR 11 - San 8.
Brickley with speed used a Griffin as a screen and lasered a shot over Coreau's shoulder, stick-side. Paetsch went down funny in a collision along the boards, but finished his shift. After a good scoring chance, Mantha went over and gave Racine a shot, touching off a scrum. Scramble in front of the net and the puck went to Brickley with his back to the net. Brickley backhanded a no look shot past Coreau for a 2-1 lead. Several Rampage players went over to push and shove with Pulkkinen after a whistle, drawing a crowd. The Griffins evened things up in a beautiful give and go play between Tvrdon and Miele. Tvrdon got the puck and then threaded a pass through two defenders back to Miele for a wide open net and his 14th goal of the season. A couple of big blasts from the point by Paetsch were blocked. Great diving play by Paetsch on the power play to block a clearing attempt. A centering pass hopped over Miele's stick in the slot on what looked like a sure goal. Grand Rapids doing a great job of cycling the puck late in the period, peppering Houser. Two-on-one Bruton and Aubry. Aubry rang a shot off Houser and Hoggan came late and buried it stick side for his second of the night.
Shots on goal: GR 17 - San 6.
Porter got stung blocking a shot and took a few minutes to shake it off. The Griffins killed off another penalty capped off by a rush by Ferraro for a scoring chance. Miele stopped a clearing attempt and fed Mantha in the slot for a great chance. Aubry gave the Rampage a taste of their own medicine when he smoked Brickley with a big hip check. Zanon tried to retaliate with a big hit of his own but got the worst of it and limped off the ice. Grand Rapids appeared to score off the stick of Ferraro but it was immediately waived off as being directed in with a high stick. Coreau came out of the net to play the puck but turned it over and had to scramble back. The Rampage really turned up the forechecking, and the Griffins had a hard time clearing the puck. Houser came out of the net to slow down Porter and got run down. San Antonio pressuring late trying to get the tying goal. Tvrdon slick move to get the puck to a scoring position and hit Porter for a dangerous chance. Houser to the bench with 1:13 left for an extra skater. Great play by Athanasiou to sacrifice himself and block the shot which squirted over to Miele. Miele fired it the length of the ice for an empty netter and cap a 4-2 Griffins victory. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - San 12. For the Game: GR 36 - San 26.
Zengerle - Miele - Pulkkinen
Mantha - Athanasiou - Porter
Tvrdon - Nosek - Ferraro
Hoggan - Aubry - Bruton
Paetsch - Ouellet
Evans - Sproul
#18 Lashoff - Jensen
Callahan - ACL - Out for season
Hoggan - Zengerle - Miele
Paetsch - Pulkkinen
Mantha - Nosek - Athanasiou
Tvrdon - Sproul
Porter - Athanasiou
Paetsch - Jensen
Nosek - Ferraro
Lashoff - Ouellet
Hoggan looked like he shook off a season of rust tonight. After languishing on the fourth line and not really getting much of an opportunity to be an impact player, a healthy dose of ice time and powerplay time brought an energized captain. When he is on his toes, his speed, physical play, and work ethic bring a different look to this team. heres hoping this continues down the stretch.
Marek Tvrdon was noticeable tonight and looked very confident with the puck. He really seems to have a low panic point and can make plays in a very small space with little time. His soft hands combined with his size make him a tough player to defend.
Louis-Marc Aubry was flying around all night banging everything in a rampage sweater. After a couple of really big hits, he had the opposing team looking over their shoulders for him. He also was hard around the net, cycling the puck and using his frame to create havoc in the offensive zone.
Athanasiou was also very noticeable using his speed to create plays and pick off passes. What stood out even more was how he sacrificed his body, both in blocking shots, and taking a hit to make a play. He seems to get better every game.
The team received a big blow, losing first liner Mitch Callahan for the season with a torn ACL suffered on Friday night.