WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Manitoba Moose rallied to out-match two goals from Matt Ellis and gained the upper hand during a 3-2 shootout decision, to deliver a heart-breaking loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night at the MTS Centre.
The Griffins will conclude their back-to-back set in Manitoba, as well as the season series against the Moose tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m.
Fresh off a 12-game stint with Detroit, Ellis picked up where he left off and extended his point streak to a career-high seven games by scoring two goals during the second period to give the Griffins a 2-0 lead. After redirecting a midair blue liner from Dan Smith into the net from the right side 38 seconds into the frame, Ellis continued to pad the Griffins’ record books with a shorthanded tally.
The goal came at 9:47 when Ellis skated around the left circle and fired the puck through Drew MacIntyre’s wickets, setting a Griffins single season record with his fifth shorty while also extending his career franchise record to 12. The tally tied the Griffins team mark of 21 set in 1998-99.
But the Moose narrowed the margin at 14:23 on a lamp lighter from Lee Goren, who was standing in the goal mouth and tipped a rebound in after Stefan Liv denied Dustin Wood on the initial shot during a power play.
Manitoba managed to tie the contest at 15:56 of the final period to force overtime. Maxime Fortunus launched a rocket from the right point too hot for Liv to handle and Mason Raymond was there to backhand the rebound over the goal line.
No decision resulted from the extra session, sending the game to a shootout where Goren and Yannick Tremblay scored for Manitoba while only Tony Voce found the mesh for the Griffins.
Liv made 36 saves, in addition to a sprawling back-breaker during the shootout while MacIntyre stopped 24 during regulation and overtime and batted a juggling puck in the shootout, denying Kip Miller’s attempt to keep Grand Rapids alive.