Admirals Torpedo Griffins Winning Streak 3-2|
Tatar tallies fifth goal of the weekend...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 25, 2012
The Griffins rally to extend their winning streak to 9 games fell just short as the visiting Milwaukee Admirals pulled out a 3-2 victory at Van Andel arena. The Griffins twice battled back from deficits but after playing three games in three nights didn't have enough left to get another puck past Smith to force overtime. Tomas Tatar (10) notched his fifth goal in three games and Frankie Pare (8) extended his point streak to seven games (11 points). Rookie phenom Petr Mrazek made 17 saves in recording his first loss of the season.
Valentine drew first blood for Milwaukee, ripping a shot from the line that clanked in behind Mrazek. Grand Rapids tied it up on a powerplay later in the period. Smith in the circle hit Andersson in front and his shot deflected to Tatar on the doorstep who buried it. Grand Rapids in penalty trouble late in the period with two consecutive 5-on-3 Milwaukee powerplays. Excellent job by the Griffins penalty killers to kill off both, but their luck finally ran out when Ekholm's shot got past a screened Mrazek for a 5-on-4 powerplay marker to regain the lead. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Mil 11.
The 2nd period was another battle of the special teams with the Griffins coming out on the losing end. Despite 4 consecutive powerplay opportunities, GR could not get anything going offensively. Smith turned over the puck leading to a shorthanded breakaway for former Griffin Chris Mueller who did not miss, extending the lead to 3-1. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - Mil 5.
Sheahan had a great chance right off the faceoff, ripping a shot into Smith. Lashoff took a big hit to make a play and keep the puck in the admirals zone. The Griffins are showing the effects of three games in three days, and look tired, losing the little battles and loose pucks. Jurco had a nifty scoring chance from the circle then Pare picked up the puck, sucked Smith out and flipped the puck over him to pull the Griffins within one. Great chance by Ferraro who walked out of the circle and weaved in and out of defenders to get a shot from the slot. Mrazek went to the bench for an extra attacker but the home team could not rally for the tying goal and went on to lose 3-2. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - Mil 4. For the Game: GR 22 - Mil 20.
Pare - Sheahan - Jurco
Hoggan - Ferraro - Aubry
Tatar - Andersson - Nyquist
Grant - Raedeke - Callahan
Almquist - Lashoff
Billins - Evans
Paetsch - Smith
Tatar - Andersson - Nyquist
Smith - Billins
Hoggan - Ferraro - Pare
Almquist - Paetsch
Sheahan - Ferraro
Evans/Paetsch - Smith
Raedeke - Andersson
Billins - Lashoff
Tomas Tatar continues to be a force every night. He scored his fifth goal in three games and really was flying around the ice all night. He has found his confidence and is showing off a jaw-dropping variety of skill, moves and hand-eye coordination. Watching he and Nyquist handle the puck while spinning and weaving is a thing of beauty.
Landon Ferraro played his usual strong game where he uses his speed and smarts to make things happen at both ends of the ice. He was especially noticeable on the penalty kill where he logged a ton of minutes especially during the 5-on-3 powerplays.
Frankie Pare has had an uncharacteristic hot start and really looks to be in the zone. He really looks good with Jurco as the two creative players seem to feed off each other.
The fourth line of Raedeke, Grant and Callahan, heroes of the game on Friday night, did not have a great game and looked overmatched at times. This continues to be the place that Blashill tinkers with and may be due for another change.