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MOOSE SLIP PAST GRIFFINS IN OVERTIME


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Cory Schneider made 42 saves and Mario Bliznak scored with 1:05 remaining in overtime to lift the Manitoba Moose to a 2-1 victory over Grand Rapids before a sold-out Van Andel Arena on Saturday, putting a damper on an otherwise tremendous home weekend for the Griffins.

Grand Rapids, which crafted a 4-1 win over the Moose on Friday, earned points in consecutive home games for the first time since Dec. 9-11 while entertaining 20,395 fans, the largest two-game total for the Griffins this season.

The Griffins (26-34-3-2) will now embark on a season-high six-game road trip, starting with a 7:30 p.m. Friday tilt against the North Division-leading Hamilton Bulldogs.

The Moose (32-28-5-1) took advantage of a turnover in the Griffins’ zone to score the lone tally of the opening period, with Sergei Shirokov notching his team-high 20th goal unassisted from the right circle at the 10:55 mark.

The score remained 1-0 through the second intermission despite Grand Rapids’ commanding 26-13 advantage in shots, thanks to the Moose’s stellar shot-blocking, the play of Schneider, and a Manitoba penalty killing unit that denied each of the Griffins’ first three power play chances.

Grand Rapids finally broke through to tie the game with its fastest goal of the season, just 20 seconds into the third, when Justin Abdelkader solved Schneider from low in the left circle to extend his team- and career-high point streak to eight games.

The Griffins were unable to capitalize on four more power play opportunities during the duration of regulation and overtime, making them 0-for-7 on the night, and they paid for those failures at the 3:55 mark of the extra session. As Logan Pyett tried to gather the puck in the high slot, it took a bad bounce between his legs and right to the stick of Bliznak, who broke in alone and slipped a shot between Daniel Larsson’s pads to end it.

Grand Rapids tied its season-high for shots, out-shooting the Moose 43-26 to finish the two-game set with a 79-50 advantage.

Three Stars: 1. MTB Schneider (W, 42 saves); 2. MTB Bliznak (game-winning goal); 3. GR Larsson (OTL, 24 saves)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
GriffVision Video Highlights
GriffVision Video Interview: Larsson
WOOD Radio Highlights: Abdelkader goal   Manitoba OT goal
Post-Game Sound Bites: Abdelkader   Larsson   Fraser
Official Game Report

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