Bad Bounces Haunt Griffins in 4-2 Home Loss|
Coreau makes 36 saves in loss...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 19th, 2016
The hockey gods did not smile on the Grand Rapids Griffins tonight as they could not overcome a couple of bad bounces and fell to the visiting Charlotte Checkers 4-2. Tyler Bertuzzi scored a pretty goal midway through the first period to open the scoring, and Andy Miele broke a 1-1 tie with his 10th of the campaign. Grand Rapids had been plenty of opportunities in the tight checking, physical contest, but could not overcome a 3-2 deficit in the third and eventually surrendered an empty net goal for the final margin.
Tomas Nosek pushing and shoving after the whistle sent a Checkers player to the ice, then got drilled by Rissanen, who got the only penalty. Callahan in front tried to shovel in the rebound of a big drive by Frk and was mugged by a group of Checkers. Good powerplay generated some shots and had good time of possession. Bertuzzi stole the puck, flew in on goal, deked MacIntyre and then slid it home five-hole to open the scoring. Charlotte evened things up a few minutes later when Coreau juggled a bad angle shot and had the puck roll off his glove and into the net. Big hit by Frk along the end boards. Play is very chippy with lots of back and forth in the neutral zone. Woods tried to break past Ryan Sproul and got smoked by the Sturdy Griffins defender with a huge open ice hit that left him prone on the ice. Aubry and Cornell dropped the gloves behind the net with the hulking Griffins center scoring a flurry of blows to the head before losing his balance and going down. Tyler Bertuzzi caught Wohlberg with his head down with a big open ice hit, then headed back up ice for a great scoring chance. And Miele followed up the play with Callahan screening in front, curled into the circle and wrister a shot into the empty side of the net. Mark Zengerle with a great chance at the buzzer. Shots on goal: GR 11 - CHA 13.
The Griffins caught a break when a Charlotte point shot hit the crossbar and stayed out. A 2-on-1 turned into a 3-on-1 when Sproul jumped up into the play. His shot beat MacIntyre but hit the post. Anderson partial break but he was interfered with enough to disrupt the scoring chance. Coreau with a big stop, but the puck shot up in the air and came back down behind him into the net. Charlotte appeared to score again, but it was reviewed and ruled no goal. Jensen circled the net and centered for Callahan who couldn't get a shot off. Hensick came from behind the net and surprised Coreau, scoring a wraparound goal to give Charlotte the lead. Big scrum after the whistle with Lowe really trying to get at Callahan. Shots on goal: GR 5 - Cha 16.
Callahan tipped a low point shot by Chouinard, but MacIntyre just got a piece of it. Great shift by Frk, really battling! Grand Rapids pressuring late, Mantha sprung up the middle on a breakaway but fired the puck into the goalie's pads. Coreau to the bench for the extra attacker with just over two minutes left. The Griffins had several good chances, but could not solve MacIntyre again. Brown scored an empty netter to seal the deal on a 4-2 Griffins loss. Shots on goal: GR 15 - MIL 11. For the Game: GR 31 - Cha 40.
Andersson - Nosek - Cleary
Tangradi - Zengerle - Mantha
Bertuzzi - Aubry - Campbell
Callahan - Miele - Frk
Lashoff - Jensen
Paetsch - Russo
Chouinard - Sproul
#23 Grant - Injury
#32 Hirschfeld - Seizure
Callahan - Miele - Zengerle
Paetsch - Frk
Bertuzzi - Tangradi - Mantha
Russo - Sproul
Aubry - Nosek
Paetsch/Lashoff - Jensen
Cleary - Campbell
Russo - Sproul
Another great game by Brian Lashoff. While a lot of what he does is not measurable by statistics, the veteran blueliner is an impact player on a deep Griffins defensive corps. He is so good defensively and really closes down his side of the ice. on one shift he stopped five consecutive clears down his side of the ice and kept the puck in the offensive zone.
Tyler Bertuzzi had a nice game and has been coming on for awhile now. He is a powerful, quick skater and seems to have a knack for being in the right place to intercept the puck and create a scoring chance. He was throwing his weight around a bit tonight, but stayed out of the box.
Coreau deserved a better fate than he received. Two of the three pucks that beat him, he stopped and couldn't hang onto. He also had some rebound control issues, but one would wonder whether that had anything to do with the new purple striped pads he was wearing tonight as part of the team's purple/breast cancer promotion. He made several incredible stops, most in traffic and looked stellar as usual.
Callahan's motor was running in high gear all night as he was creating havoc in front and breaking up plays. It would have been nice to see him rewarded for all of the punishment he took tonight with a goal, but it was not meant to be.