Frk Leads Griffins Over Checkers 4-3|
Coreau makes 37 saves in win...
By Jason Kasiorek
October 21st, 2015
Grand Rapids rebounded from a tough start to pick up their first victory of the season, a 4-3 win over the visiting Charlotte Checkers. Martin Frk proved the unlikely hero, notching a pair of goals and first star honors on the night. Jared Coreau out dueled former Griffin Drew McIntyre, making 37 saves on 40 shots. Anthony Mantha and Jeff Hoggan also tallied their first goals of the season in the win.
The Griffins got off to another slow start, which was apparent when Charlotte had more scoring opportunities while short handed than GR during an early power play. Nosek with a steal in front had a great chance but McIntyre made the stop. The Griffins were awarded another man advantage, and again Charlotte took advantage of a turnover to create another great scoring chance short handed. Coreau came up with a major league stop to keep the score at zero. Jensen couldn't hold it in at the line, but sacrificed himself to a brutal hit to knock the puck out of danger. Big scrum to the side of McIntyre's cage after the whistle. Campbell followed up a shot looking for a rebound and jammed away at it until the whistle blew. Grand Rapids had a 3-on-1 and Tangradi took the shot, firing it into the netting. Mantha set up Paetsch in the slot with a drop pass, but the veteran defenseman couldn't handle it to get a shot off. Late in the period, Charlotte scored an easy power play goal to take the lead when Hensick was left alone in front and hit Di Giuseppe back door. Grand Rapids answered back 32 seconds later, when Mantha snuck into the slot and Callahan made a pretty behind the back pass from the side of the net that the speedy sniper roofed to tie the game at one. Shots on goal: GR 16 - Cha 10.
Hoggan picked off a pass and shot in on McIntyre, firing a rocket from the circle that was stopped. Callahan into the zone with speed went cross ice to Sproul for a chance. midway through the period, Frk with speed went in alone on McIntyre and fired a wicked wrister past him for a 2-1 lead. Frk in the slot again, fed Tangradi for a blast that rang off the post behind McIntyre. Shots on goal: GR 9 - Cha 8.
Jensen's long point shot was redirected by Aubry in the slot and Hoggan in front to increase the lead to 3-1. Huge save by Coreau on a Checkers' 2-on-1 which resulted in a point blank shot. Paetsch over-skated his man allowing him to walk in alone on Coreau and fire a shot that was redirected in by Woods. Miele up the middle fought through a check to have a great chance on the doorstep. Frk got behind the defense, cut in on McIntyre, and tucked it under his pads for his second of the night. Lowe and Campbell dropped the gloves behind the play with both players landing punches. Campbell appeared to get the better licks in to take the win. Charlotte pulled McIntyre with three minutes remaining, and used the extra attacker to pepper the Griffins net with shots. They finally got another one past Coreau with 6.4 seconds remaining, on a controversial play that was reviewed and allowed to stand. The Griffins held on for a 4-3 win. Shots on goal: GR 10 - Cha 22. For the game: GR 35 - Cha 40.
Tangradi - Miele - #27 Frk
Bertuzzi - Athanasiou - Mantha
Callahan - Nosek - Zengerle
Hoggan - Aubry - Campbell
Paetsch - Jensen
Lashoff - Sproul
Ouellet - Marchenko
#23 Grant - Injured
Tangradi - Nosek - Zengerle
Frk - Jensen
Callahan - Athanasiou - Mantha
Miele - Paetsch
Nosek - Campbell
Paetsch - Jensen
Athanasiou - Tangradi
Lashoff - Marchenko
The Griffins started to click midway through the first and did a great job of creating chances. Frk saw a ton of cie time on a scoring line and looked like he belonged. He still is not the fleetest skater or a top defensive forward, but he can score with the best of them
Great to finally get win number one out of the way, I saw Callahan fishing out the final game puck to give to coach Nelson to commemorate the milestone.
Dan Cleary was in the house sitting to my right, as was Chris Chelios who was watching the Checkers where his son Jake plays...