Manitoba Moose 5 at GRIFFINS 7
Feb. 15, 2017
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Using four tallies in the third period, the Grand Rapids Griffins pulled away from the Manitoba Moose to claim a 7-5 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Van Andel Arena.
The Griffins (32-14-1-2) finished with three goals on five power play opportunities and – led by Eric Tangradi’s four-point afternoon – saw six players record multi-point efforts as they defeated Manitoba for the fourth consecutive time on home ice.
Leading the Central Division, Grand Rapids will continue its five-game homestand on Friday and Saturday when the Pacific Division's San Antonio Rampage pay a visit to West Michigan. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. on both nights.
The Moose (19-24-3-3) struck first while on a 5-on-3 advantage at the 8:24 mark of the first period. Tomas Nosek’s tripping penalty at 7:20 was compounded by Brian Lashoff’s delay of game infraction just 40 seconds later. With puck possession in the left circle, rookie Jack Roslovic skated toward the goal line before slipping a backhanded feed to Chase De Leo alone in the slot, who tucked his shot inside Eddie Pasquale’s right post.
Nathan Paetsch replaced Nosek and joined Lashoff in the penalty box after earning an unsportsmanlike conduct following De Leo’s marker. The Griffins avoided a potential multi-goal deficit by fending off Manitoba’s two-man advantage that lasted 1:36.
Grand Rapids evened the score with 4:48 remaining in the opening frame. Five seconds after a Kevin Czuczman tripping penalty expired, Joe Hicketts guided a shot from near the blue line that was redirected by Evgeny Svechnikov, who placed the puck past a screened Eric Comrie. Svechnikov’s 15th goal of the season extended his point streak to 11, the longest by a Griffin since 2005-06.
The Griffins grabbed a 2-1 lead with 67 seconds before the first intermission. As JC Lipon sat in the penalty box guilty of an interference infraction, Tyler Bertuzzi fired a shot from atop the left circle that Tangradi got a stick on and steered past Comrie’s catching glove.
Manitoba wasted little time tying the score, lighting the lamp 13 seconds into the middle frame. Staked out in front of Pasquale, Patrice Cormier chipped Nelson Nogier’s attempt from the right circle into the back of the net.
The Moose took a 3-2 advantage on the power play halfway through the second. Roslovic’s shot from the bottom of the right circle was blocked down by Pasquale, but Scott Glennie was in position to put the backhanded rebound past the netminder.
Grand Rapids tied the game at three at the 13:34 mark of the period. Matthew Ford’s clearing attempt from center ice directed up the near boards hit a stanchion at the hash marks that veered the puck back toward the middle of the ice. Comrie, anticipating the puck to wind up behind his own goal, was caught out of position as Kyle Criscuolo swooped in to deliver the game-tying goal into an open cage.
Bertuzzi’s power play goal with 9:52 left in the third period that gave the Griffins a 4-3 edge set off a frantic final 10 minutes that saw both teams combine for six goals. Tangradi gained the zone before distributing the puck over to Bertuzzi at the right circle, who delivered his seventh goal of the season.
Twenty-three seconds later, Drew Miller, playing in his fourth game as a Griffin, notched his first AHL goal since March 17, 2009, to give the home team a two-goal edge.
Tangradi’s second power play goal of the night gave Grand Rapids a three-goal advantage with 6:09 remaining. Ford’s attempt from the left circle was initially blocked by Tangradi, who had established net-front position. Picking up the loose puck, Tangradi maneuvered it over to his forehand before roofing it past the second-year netminder.
Cormier trimmed Manitoba’s deficit to two with 2:49 remaining in regulation. After his initial shot was saved and the clearing attempt was fanned on, Cormier gathered his rebound and fired a shot from the slot for his second goal of the contest.
Following a timeout, Manitoba emptied its net with 2:21 left but would see its plan backfire exactly one minute later as Mitch Callahan restored Grand Rapids’ three-goal edge.
Jimmy Lodge lit the lamp for the visitors with 26 seconds remaining to close the game’s scoring.
Pasquale accumulated 34 saves to earn his 12th win of the season while Comrie stopped 29 shots.
Notes: The Griffins wore “Mr. I” helmet decals to honor Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, who passed away last Friday…Today marked the 16th annual matinee game for the Griffins…Grand Rapids is 10-5-0-1 all-time in home games with an early start.
Three Stars: 1. GR Tangradi (two power play goals, two assists); 2. GR Ford (three assists); 3. MB Cormier (two goals)