Stars Singe Griffins 4-1|
Magnus Hellberg stands tall in loss...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 2nd, 2022
Netminder Magnus Hellberg was looking for a statement game in his first start in a Griffins uniform and first as a member of the Red Wings organization this season. Despite the loss, the towering goalie did just that, stopping 34 of 37 shots including some highlight reel saves to keep his team in the game until the bitter end. The Griffins offense showed little life, including an 0-5 line with the man advantage, and only an early goal by Kyle Criscuolo found its way past his counterpart Khudobin.
Nice play by Jared McIsaac to force a turnover, then the puck went to Bliss who set up a 3-on-2 rush. The Stars scored early when Tufte redirected a point shot from Gleason past a partially screened Hellberg. Givani Smith with a great chance on the doorstep, bud Khudobin just got a glove on the puck. Simon Edvinsson great job at the line, fought off a Stars player, one-handed to keep the puck in the zone. Griffins first powerplay was a bust with no shots on goal, and the most dangerous chance was a shorthanded one for Texas. Edvinsson made hard contact with Olofsson along the boards and then tripped him setting up a Stars' powerplay.
The Grand Rapids penalty killers were up to the task and kept the puck out of harm's way. McIsaac dove and slid along the ice to take away the pass on a Texas 2-on-1. Taro Hirose with speed, shot in along the wing weaved through the Stars' defense and put a point blank shot on Khudobin. Dallas pressuring and Hellberg came up with a big save with bodies in front. Smith was setup nicely in front but misfired a shot into the corner. Albert Johansson blistered a point shot that fund its way through and force Khudobin to make a big save. Kirill Tyutyayev battling in the corner got the puck to Criscuolo in the circle and put a shot on a surprised Khudobin that just eluded him to knot the score at one. Shots on goal: GR 10 - Tex 16.
Grand Rapids got an early powerplay and looked to be showing some life. Criscuolo with a couple of good chances put three shots on in a row on Khudobin. Former Griffin Riley Barber with a dangerous chance shorthanded and GR now 0 for 2 on the man-advantage. Texas carrying play for most of the rest of the period as the Griffins appear listless. Tufte to the box for high-sticking and the Griffins powerplay couldn't even generate a shot on goal during the two-minutes. In fact, the griffins didn't manage a shot on net for a 10:42 span of the period from the first powerplay to when Trenton Bliss had a shot at the 18:35 mark. Hellberg with an amazing flurry of saves including one where he was completely out of the net and dove back to deflect a sure goal with his stick. Shots on goal: GR 9 - Tex 12.
Simon Edvinsson strong play to hold the puck in at the line and put a low, hard shot on Khudobin with Smith in front who just missed the puck on the doorstep. Bliss was whistled for hooking setting up another Stars powerplay. Griffins manage to kill it off and then get a powerplay of their own. Toward the end of the penalty, the Griffins had a short 5-on-3. Despite getting some good chances, they are unable to score. Bad GR defense gaffe, nobody picked up Butcher who took the puck down the wing and then right to the net where Barber redirected it in. The play was reviewed as it went in off Barber and they were trying to see if it was kicked in, but it wasn't and the goal stands. Pearson with a great chance to tie things up with a beautiful backhander in close. A long shot by Petrovic found its way through Hellberg with McKenzie screening in front to push the score to 3-1. Hellberg to the bench late in the period and the Stars score from center ice to ice the game 4-1. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Tex 10. For the Game: GR 30 - Tex 38.
Team Dressed 11 F and 7 D
#17 Hirose - #11 L'Esperance - #96 Andreasson
#22 Pearson - #32 Spezia - #65 Shine
#79 Tyutyayev - #51 Criscuolo - #54 Smith
Rotating - #28 Bliss - #41 LaCroix
#33 Johansson - #3 McIsaac
#18 Lashoff - #20 Kampfer
#77 Edvinsson - #49 Barton
Starter: #35 Magnus Hellstrom
Backup: #45 Olkinuora
#71 Hanas - Injured
#17 Hirose - #11 L'Esperance - #22 Pearson
#49 Barton - #3 McIsaac
#79 Tyutyayev - #51 Criscuolo - #65 Shine
#33 Johansson - #77 Edvinsson
#17 Hirose - #51 Criscuolo
#18 Lashoff - #40 Newpower/#49 Barton
#22 Pearson - #32 Spezia
#33 Johansson - #20 Kampfer
#77 Edvinson - #40 Newpower
Magnus Hellberg had a solid debut for the Griffins made even more impressive by the fact that it was only his second game of the season at any level and his 1st since October 24th. He looked a little amped for the first few minutes and then settled down and calmly stopped most of what Texas threw at him. He deserved a better fate than a loss, and at times in the latter half of the game, was nothing short of spectacular. Also loved how he would place his goalie stick between the top of his right leg pad and his leg while taking a break - a benefit of having such huge pads to suit his huge frame.
On the blueline Edvinsson played well and looks very comfortable. He rarely looks rushed or panicked and his calm demeanor allows him to pull off some nail biting plays because he has such a low panic point. He has been using his size lately, both in terms of physical play and using his massive wingspan to hold pucks in at the line. While not at same level, Seth Barton has also continued his impressive play, having gone from an extra to a regular in the lineup. He plays a simple game and generally appears calm and unrattled in any situation. He has been very good defensively and does a very good job of picking off pucks and finding an open lane to start the transition game.