Griffins Gain Revenge Over Admirals With 6-2 Win|
Turgeon celebrates birthday with a goal and assist...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 25th, 2017
Yesterday night, the Griffins rally fell just short and they were eager for some payback for the visiting Admirals tonight. They scored early and often mauling Milwaukee 6-2 in a rough penalty filled contest. Matt Lorito scored a pair of goals (15,16) to lead the offense and Dominic Turgeon celebrated his 21st birthday with a goal and an assist. Martin Frk notched his 20th of the season on the powerplay, and Street and Miller each lit the lamp for Grand Rapids. Jared Coreau had a busy night in the nets, stopping 39 of 41 shots to record his 12th AHL win of the season.
Dan Renouf with a long drive that Mazanec had trouble with but was able to flop and cover up. Good job by Brian Lashoff to settle things down behind the net and setup the breakout. Drop pass by Kyle Criscuolo and Joe Hicketts with a big point blast. Mazanec made the save and there was some pushing and shoving around the crease. With the Griffins on the powerplay, Nosek got drilled from behind and was down on the ice for awhile. He left under his own power and went straight to the room. He did not return. Five-on-three powerplay now. Frk snuck in back door cranked a shot, and then blasted the rebound in under the bar from his knees to open the scoring, his 20th of the season. Evgeny Svechnikov took one of the stranger penalties you see in the sport, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for throwing his equipment. Street stole the puck at the line, burned in on Mazanec and wired a shot in under his arm, glove side for a shorthanded goal. Russo crosschecked an Admirals forward (Kirkland?) to the ice and all hell broke loose with bodies flying and a jampile of players. GR now down two players but the penalty killers were up to the task, and the Griffins made it to the intermission leading 2-0. Shots on goal: GR 14 - Mil 13.
Turgeon scored early in the 2nd, backhanding a Bertuzzi feed past Mazanec. The goal was reviewed but allowed to stand. Callahan on a 2-on-1 and interfered with, leading to a pushing and shoving match. Then things got heated when Callahan got jumped by a second Admirals player and tried to fight off two at the same time. Grand Rapids's penalty troubles continued as three Griffins sat in the box at the same time. The Admirals finally were able to capitalize on the steady stream of players headed to the box when Kirkland deflected a shot in just off the underside of the crossbar. The Griffins answered right back as Lorito cut next to the net and chipped the puck in over Mazanec's shoulder to make it 4-1.Criscuolo used the defenseman as a screen and shot the puck through his legs from the slot, surprising Mazanec. Great chance by Callahan at the buzzer. Shots on goal: GR 7 - Mil 14.
Great chance on the doorstep by Criscuolo, but he couldn't find a hole. Lashoff made it 5-1 when his blast from the line found its way into the net through traffic. Miller was given credit for the goal as he must have got a stick on it as it went through. Another Griffins powerplay negated by a penalty - becoming much too common. Now 4-on-3 as Murphy goes off for Milwaukee. Lorito put a shot on net from the circle and Tangradi in front screening as it bulged the twine to push the lead to 6-1. That was the end of the night for Marek Mazanec as he yielded to Jonas Gunnarson between the pipes. Milwaukee added a goal midway through the third when Richard tipped a long shot in over a sprawled out Coreau. Gunnarson with a stop and several Griffins jamming away at it. Milwaukee trying to ramp up its offense, GR having a hard time getting the puck out of the zone. Tangradi taken out on the way to the net for a prime scoring chance and no call. Svechnikov up the middle for a shot and a couple of pokes at the rebound. Lashoff battling in the corner, really throwing his weight around and giving Milwaukee trouble. Bertuzzi with a great chance right in front. Matt Caito and Army got into an altercation behind the net, and although a few punches were exchanged, they were sent off for roughing. Liambas and Callahan jawing at each other during a faceoff, but time ran out before that turned into anything. Griffins gain a measure of revenge with a 6-2 win. Shots on goal: GR 15 - Mil 14. For the Game: GR 36 - Mil 41.
Tangradi - Street - Callahan
Bertuzzi - Nosek/Turgeon - Frk
Svechnikov - Criscuolo - Lorito
Miller - Turgeon - Campbell
Lashoff - Russo
Renouf - Caito
Paetsch - Hicketts
#11 Cleary - Veteran
Lorito - Nosek/Callahan - Callahan/Hicketts
Frk - Street
Tangradi - Criscuolo - Svechnikov
Bertuzzi - Russo
Miller - Campbell
Paetsch - Lashoff
Tangradi - Street
Renouf - Hicketts
This game started out a lot like last night's game. Both teams kind of feeling each other out without much in the way of sustained pressure or good chances. Then Grand Rapids hit the gas and carried play for most of the game. Towards the end I thought things were going to get out of hand as tempers flared and the Griffins powerplay had several great chances.
No word on Nosek's status, but he did not return after being hit from behind into the boards in the first period. He would be a big loss to this team.
Dominic Turgeon took advantage of the extra ice time with the second line and played a solid game. He got on the scoresheet and was very noticeable in the offensive end.
The Griffins have had some unconventional powerplay looks this season, namely the 1st unit consisting of five forwards. But it has worked for them (for the most part) as they have the top powerplay in the league and don't give up that many shorthanded chances. Last night after Nosek ;eft the game, they shifted Callahan to center (not an uncommon ocurrence) and put Joe Hicketts up on the wing (with two forwards at the points). Hicketts did a stellar job in that role! He parked himself in the crease and was difficult to move because of his low center of gravity. He also showed off his soft hands along the wall distributing the puck.
Jared Coreau looked very steady between the pipes. he made several close in saves and seems to have settled down a lot from the beginning of the season, playing his angles and being in position to make the stop without having to move.