Admirals Sink Griffins 2-1|
Offense comes up short in defensive battle...
By Jason Kasiorek
The Milwaukee Admirals jumped out to an early lead, and held on the rest of the way as they handed the Griffins a 2-1 loss. Brett Engelhardt tied things up in the third with his fifth of the year, but the Admirals regained the lead less than two minutes later and that was all she wrote. Despite outshooting Milwaukee 30-21 Grand Rapids had very little in the way of dangerous scoring chances in the game. Adam Berkhoel made 19 stops in absorbing his seventh loss of the season.
Milwaukee wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet, taking advantage of a Jon Insana tripping penalty to score a powerplay marker at 1:55. Neil Clark dropped the gloves with Wilson after the next faceoff for his first AHL bout. Unfortunatley for Clark he took the worst of it, getting in a few shots before ending up on the ice. The period was fast paced with neither team really getting much going offensively. GR 8 - Mil 7.
The second period was a defensive battle neither team was able to set up in the other teams zone. The physical play really picked up as well, scrums after the whistle, heavy hits, and lots of pushing and shoving. The only real excitement came when Ericsson turned the puck over as the last man back and Berkhoel had to make a great save on the breakaway.Shots on Goal: GR 7 - Mil 7.
The Griffins finally got on the board early in the third when a Kindl point blast was tipped in front by Engelhardt for a powerplay goal. The joy was shortlived however as Niskala scored less than two minutes later, when he sucked Berkhoel out of the net and went behind to score on the wraparound. Grand Rapids was unable to get the equalizer with time running out despite their best effort of the game. Berkhoel to the bench with less than a minute left for the extra attacker, but GR was unable or unwilling to carry the puck into the zone and the clock ran out. For the Game: GR 30 - Mil 21.
Helm/Clark - Cullen - Corazzini
Tardif - Oulahen - Engelhardt/Corazzini/Clark
Gelech - McGrath - Ritola
Helm - Oulahen - Gelech
Stafford - Kindl/Ference
Quincey - Galvin
Ericsson - Insana
Note: GR dressed 7 defenseman, so everyone played with everyone else.
Engelhardt - Cullen - Corazzini
Quincey - Stafford
Tardif - McGrath - Ritola
Ericsson - Kindl
Tardif - Helm
Quincey - Ference
Corazzini - Cullen
Ericsson - Insana
Oulahen - McGrath
Not the Griffins best effort, again not really playing hard for the full 60 minutes. That may have gotten them wins against Hamilton, but did not get it done vs the Admirals.
Jon Insana was very noticeable, playing more physical than normal, more gritty in the corners.
Another strong game by Kindl who appears to have overcome his notorious slow start and looks to be rounding into form.
Jamie Tardif had another strong game and has led the team in shots on goal in each of the last few games. He takes a lot of important faceoffs for the team, and just seems to be in the right place at the right time at both ends of the ice.
Berkhoel's record dropped to 2-6-0-1 on the season, and while he would probably like the second goal back, he deserved better than this.