Griffins Survive Run and Gun Battle With Gulls 8-5|
Hanas, Tyutyayev and Edvinsson net first AHL goals...
By Jason Kasiorek
October 16th, 2022
Neither team had a great defensive game, but the Grand Rapids Griffins managed to hang on to win an offensive pond hockey game against the visiting San Diego Gulls. The Griffins got a hat trick from center Austin Czarnik and then a hat trick of a different kind as rookies Cross Hanas, Kirill Tyutyayev and Simon Edvinsson each notched their first career goals. Special Teams played a big role in contest as the home team enjoyed 3 powerplay markers and a shorthanded goal. Victor Brattstrom made 33 saves for his first win of the season.
The Griffins opened the scoring just over the one-minute mark of the game when Matt Luff took picked up the rebound of a shot by Kampfer backdoor for a stuff. This was the second game in a row that Luff opened the scoring for GR. Czarnik made it 2-0 just 25 seconds later on the powerplay when he ripped a shot from the circle, over Dostal, stick-side for a powerplay goal. Gulls 2-on-1 broken up by Edvinsson with a nice play to take away the pass, steal the puck, and send it back up ice. The Gulls got on the board a few minutes later as Gawdin deflected a Rocco Grimaldi shot past Brattstrom to cut the lead in half. Great shorthanded pressure by the Griffins, with Kampfer and Spezia getting the puck deep. Czarnik took advantage to notch a shorthanded goal, firing a shot off his back foot from the slot just past the 5-minute mark to restore the 2-goal cushion. Hirose to the box for slashing, setting up a 5-on-3 for San Diego. The Gr penalty kill managed to keep the puck out of the net and keep the score 3-1. Hanas went to the front of an empty net and took a great pass from Luff that somehow stayed out. Grand Rapids officially credited with 3 goals on 4 shots at this point. Big hit in the corner by Hanas to knock the puck loose, then he went to the slot and one-timed a nifty pass from Dominik Shine behind Dostal for his first pro goal and a 4-1 lead. This goal brought a netminder change as Ericksson Ek came in for Dostal. San Diego's Perreault went to the box for high-sticking and the Griffins powerplay went to work again. The powerplay had good pressure and movement but couldn't get a good shot off. Another Gulls penalty made it a 5-on-3 man-advantage. Great play by Joel L'Esperance to kick the puck to his stick while crossing the line and stay onside. Hanas found a seam and took the puck to the net, touching off a big scrum in front. Albert Johansson couldn't hold the puck in at the line as the powerplay ticked away. The Gulls got one back late in the period on a high shot from Tracey that Brattstrom had a hard time following through traffic. Edvinsson with a great chance late as he rushed the puck to the net and sent the puck through the slot, but no one was there to connect. Shots on goal: GR 11 - SD 11.
Grand Rapids started the second with a lot of jump. Spezia with a breakaway from center ice, beat Ericksson Ek but hit the post behind him. Great passing play by Luff and Hirose to find L'Esperance (2) at the edge of the paint on the powerplay to push the score to 5-2. The Griffins are showing off their great team speed with San Diego back on their heels. Edvinsson and Drew got tangled up and then things got chippy with Drew Trying to intimidate the Swedish rookie. Edvinsson didn't back down with lots of pushing and shoving until cooler heads prevailed. Less than a minute later the Gulls retaliated with a powerplay marker of their own with a slapshot that Brattstrom probably wishes he had back. That goal seemed to shift momentum as San Diego did a good job of keeping the Griffins boxed into their own zone with some great pressure. The next five or six-minute was all San Diego and GR looks like they are in trouble. The Griffins caught a break when Gawdin went off for hooking and Czarnik scored his third of the game. With L'Esperance screening in front, Czarnik ripped a shot from the circle in over Ericksson Ek's shoulder to make it 6-3. Less than a minute later, Tyutyayev in alone corralled a Hanas pass, made a little move, and slid the puck in between the pad and the post for his first goal and a 7-3 lead. The gulls got another tally late in the period when Brattstrom surrendered a trickler that went between his pads for a powerplay goal. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - SD 9.
L'Esperance with a steal and a great centering pass, but no one was there to take advantage. Czarnik took a great feed, back door for a perfect chance but somehow just fired it wide. GR running around a little bit in their own end again. Big pile of players in front of Brattstrom and San Diego scored again. In the aftermath it appeared that Newpower on his knees may have gotten his skate tied up with the web of Brattstrom's catching glove. Nice outlet pass by Edvinsson, keeping his head up and moving through traffic. Cedric LaCroix at the edge of the paint causing trouble. Jared McIsaac got the lumber up into the face of a Gull and went to the box. The Griffins were hot when Spezia was sent to the box for delay of game for a faceoff violation they didn't agree with, setting up another 5-on-3 for San Diego. Dostal came back into the game for the Gulls, then a minute later came back out again. Just as the first penalty expired, the Griffins were assessed another, setting up yet another 5-on-3. The Gulls pulled there netminder for the extra attacker and attacked the Griffins net. Brattstrom lost his stick and still made a couple of huge saves before a huge clear. Edvinsson great patience to net the empty netter and his first AHL goal. Osipov trying to get at LaCroix in the worst way but the officials are right in the middle and both players went to the showers before anything really got going. Shots on goal: GR 10 -SD 18. For the Game: GR 33 - SD 38.
#13 Worrad - #32 Shine - #65 Shine
#17 Hirose - #27 Czarnik - #14 Luff
#71 Hanas - #11 L'Esperance - #51 Criscuolo
#79 Tyutyayev - #13 Worrad/#96 Andreasson - #41 LaCroix
#3 McIsaac - #40 Newpower
#18 Lashoff - #33 Johansson
#77 Edvinsson - #20 Kampfer
Pairings got shaken up in the second:
#77 Edvinsson - #40 Newpower
#3 McIsaac - #20 Kampfer
Starter: #1 Brattstrom
Backup: #45 Olkinuora
#48 Berggren - Injured
#17 Hirose - #27 Czarnik - #51 Criscuolo
#14 Luff - #3 McIsaac
#71 Hanas - #11 L'Esperance - #96 Andreasson
#77 Edvinsson - #20 Kampfer
#13 Worrad - #51 Criscuolo
#3 McIsaac - #40 Newpower
#27 Czarnik - #32 Spezia
#77 Edvinsson - #20 Kampfer
In a night where so many goals were scored, it is easy to focus in on the people driving the offense. So, at first blush, the veterans brought in to do that, Austin Czarnik (3 goals), Joel L'Esperance (1 goal), Matt Luff (1 goal) and Steve Kampfer (2 assists) definitely looked good. The team defense was spotty, and the coach shook up the defensive pairings midway through the game to try and shore that up. Victor Brattstrom made several key saves, but several of the goals he let in were not particularly strong, and one would hope he shakes off the rust. This could also be an opportunity for Sebastien Cossa to get a start and try to steal a spot in the AHL.
Cross Hanas was noticeable all night, mostly for the right reasons. He went to the net regularly and wasn't afraid to stick his nose in in the high combat areas of the ice. He did a good job of reading the plays and getting where he needed to be either for a scoring chance, or as an outlet for a teammate with the puck.
Simon Edvinsson had a strong night on the backend for the Griffins. His skating is just amazing, and he sees the ice so well. Great outlet passes, and his ability to close gaps take away lanes was very apparent. It was also nice to see him hold his own in battles and scrums as his size and moves make him a target. The thing that is most interesting from my vantage point was what a low panic point he has. Even when pressured he didn't seem rattled, and just found a way to use his size, strength, reach or will, to get out of trouble. My guess is that he is not in the AHL for very long, especially if there is an injury in Detroit. In the meantime, he looked to find some chemistry playing with Newpower the second half of the game, so we will have to see if that continues.
Kyrill Tyutyayev was another player that was very noticeable. He has good skills and a lot of drive and compete, despite his diminutive frame. While still guilty of trying to do too much himself at times, that could perhaps also have something to do with his quality of line mates. He made some great plays and got the puck into the slot or net front area in traffic, but no one was there to take advantage of the puck in the danger zone. His goal was pretty and showed off what he can do, hopefully he can stay healthy and string together a couple of games like this to avoid returning to Toledo (ECHL).
Matt Luff wore #9 in camp and the season opener, but switched to #14 last night, not sure if this is a permanent switch or an issue necessitated by the sweaters the players wore which were to be auctioned off.