Griffins Dump Moose 5-1|
Unexpected Offensive Explosion Buries First Place Moose...
By Jason Kasiorek
The Griffins had every excuse to bow down to the visiting Manitoba Moose, but someone forgot to tell that to the players as they exploded for 5 goals to gain a measure of revenge against the 1st place team. Playing without Ville Leino, Darren Helm and Jimmy Howard on loan to Detroit, and Jonathan Ericsson and Mattias Ritola out with injuries, the home team road Daniel larsson, who was too sick to practice earlier in the day, to a surprise win. Captain Darren Haydar had four assists, while Cory Emmerton had a pair of goals. Evan McGrath and Justin Abdelkader also scored for Grand Rapids.
Larsson was the surprise starter for the night, as it had been stated earlier that he was too sick to play. He made an incredible stop early to show he was in the game, diving across the crease to just get a piece of the puck and keep it out. The Griffins defense is blanketing the Moose not allowing them to get anything going as evidenced by only one shot on goal in the first nine minutes. Downey batted the puck past Schneider with his hand, and it was called off. Abdelkader dropped the gloves with Jaffrey and came out swinging. Jaffrey got a couple of shots in towards the end, but probably got the worst of it. Pyett gave up the puck at the line trying to clear his own zone, and it ended up in his own net to put GR in a hole 1-0. Haydar had a couple of pokes at the puck in front of the net, and things get a little testy after the whistle. Oulahen comes in to help Haydar who was getting roughed up. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - Man 5.
Stafford took a big shot from the corner while shorthanded that was tipped in by Abdelkader for his 19th of the season to tie the game at one. later in the period Emmerton on the powerplay picked his spot and snapped a laser by Schneider, glove side. Off the next faceoff, McGrath took a pass from Lemieux and smoked the puck into the net for his 100th career AHL point. Two minutes later Emmerton streaked in on goal, crashed the net, ran into Schneider, and watched as the puck trickled into the net for his second of the game. After the next faceoff, Downey and Maxwell dropped the gloves for a heavyweight bout at center ice. Downey got a big shot in early that buckled Maxwell's knees and that was all she wrote. Things got rough at the end of the period with another big scrum. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Man 7.
The Moose made a netminder change to start the third as Sanford came in. Garrett Stafford closed out the scoring midway through the third when his powerplay point shot found its way into the net through traffic to make it 5-1. Larsson came up big as time ran down making a juggling save to keep the puck out. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - Man 8. For the Game: GR 37 - Man 20.
Oulahen - Abdelkader - Haydar
Lemieux - Pare - McGrath
Walsh - Gagnon - Downey/Mursak
Tardif - Emmerton - Mursak
Stafford - Jozsa
Kolosov - Pyett
Kindl - Galvin
Backup: #1 Joel Martin
Ritola - Back
Ericsson - Wrist
Oulahen/Emmerton - Abdelkader - Tardif
Haydar - Kindl
Lemieux - Pare - McGrath
Stafford - Haydar
Oulahen - Gagnon
Galvin - Kindl
Tardif - Abdelkader
Kolosov - Stafford
Haydar - Emmerton
Great game by Grand Rapids, they played a full 60 minutes, and it was their best defensive effort of the season.
Justin Abdelkader is looking very confidant, and playing that way as well.
Aaron Downey was banging early in the game, but disappeared after his fight in the second.
Pyett had a rough night, turning the puck over at his own blueline several times, including the one that made it past Larsson for a goal.
Larsson had a bounce back game and came up huge. The effort was even more improbable when you know he was so sick he wasn't even expected to dress earlier in the day.