Callahan Provides Overtime Heroics in 3-2 Win|
Thomas McCollum stops 41 shots as winning streak reaches 6...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 28th, 2015
As the Griffins' winning streak reached six games, the story remained the same but the hero changed. Reigning AHL player of the week Tomas Jurco was recalled by the parent Detroit Red Wings after piling 9 points in five games. Tonight Mitch Callahan stepped up scoring the winning goal in overtime to lift the Griffins over the first place Lake Erie Monsters and raise their record to .500 for the first time this season. Mark Zengerle (1) and Eric Tangradi (7) also scored for Grand Rapids in the win.
The Griffins took an early lead when Zengerle was sprung behind the defense and fired a shot in off the crossbar for his 1st of the season. Great defensive play by Lashoff to use his stick and break up a rush. Lots of pressure by Grand Rapids, both in possession time and scoring chances. Good puck movement on the Griffins first powerplay, but they weren't able to get another one past Forsberg. The puck took a GR bounce off the official's foot and Colin Campbell had a couple of point blank chances. McCollum gave up a softy, not squeezing his pads together and allowing the puck to roll through him and into the net. Shots on goal: GR 15 - LE 10.
Grand Rapids with two straight penalties to start the second. Paetsch sacrificed the body with a big block in the slot. Scrum in front of the net and The Griffins were victimized on a horrible call for a third straight penalty. It finally cost them as Moutrey redirected a shot from Tynan between McCollum's legs for a powerplay goal and their first lead of the game. Aubry hit from behind with no penalty called, he looked hurt as he headed to the bench. Nosek got taken down hard along the end boards. Callahan was held on his way to the net with the puck, setting up a Griffins powerplay. Tangradi in front redirected a pass from Miele past Forsberg from the edge of the paint. Shots on goal: GR 10 - LE 16.
Miele taken down as he carried the puck in with no call. Then the next time down the ice, GR was called for a borderline penalty. Sedlak whacked the stick out of Bertuzzi's hands setting up a late Griffins man-advantage. Tangradi smoked Sedlak along the end boards with a clean hit that knocked his helmet off. Shots on goal: GR 5 - LE 16.
Athanasious with a dangerous chance flying up the wing, but ran out of room to get the shot he wanted. Paetsch carried the puck deep and then fed Callahan in the slot. Callahan ripped a shot in over Forsberg's shoulder for the game winner.
Callahan - Miele - Zengerle
Tangradi - Athanasiou - Frk
Cleary - Nosek - Bertuzzi
Hoggan - Aubry - Campbell
Paetsch - Jensen
Ouellet - Russo
Lashoff - Sproul
#8 Mantha - Shoulder
#23 Grant - Injured
Callahan - Athanasiou - Frk
Ouellet - Sproul
Tangradi - Miele - Zengerle
Paetsch - Russo
Athanasiou - Campbell
Paetsch - Jensen
Nosek - Aubry
Ouellet - Lashoff
Callahan has really started to look like his old self the last couple of games after a very slow start. It was obvious he was not completely recovered from his knee injury last season, but now has a spring in his stride and is becoming a consistent contributor.
McCollum gets a knock for giving up a softy early in the game, but really made some big saves to keep his team in long enough to win.
Good to see Ryan Sproul shooting the puck more. After an off year last year, he looks to be engaging the offensive aspects of his game.