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HOWARD STRONG IN GRIFFINS' DEFEAT


WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Two Manitoba goals early in the third period spoiled a brilliant performance by Jimmy Howard and gave the Moose a 2-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins in Game 1 of the North Division Finals on Friday at the MTS Centre.

Howard made 32 saves on the night to give his squad a chance to win, but the Griffins suffered their first loss in four road games during the playoffs. They’ll try to even the series on Saturday when the Moose host Game 2 at 8:30 p.m. EDT.

The Moose carried the play for much of the opening period, establishing residence in Grand Rapids’ end at times and out-shooting the visitors by a 12-3 margin, but it was the Griffins who scored the first goal of the series at the 18:04 mark. Jason Jozsa’s blast from the left point sailed wide of the net and off the end boards, but Francis Pare was waiting at the left post to collect the rebound and slip the puck behind netminder Cory Schneider, who was caught out of position at the top of his crease.

The battle evened out during a scoreless second stanza, with the Griffins mounting a 9-8 shot advantage and receiving the best scoring chance, a shorthanded breakaway attempt by Jamie Tardif late in the period that Schneider closed his pads on. 

Manitoba tied matters during a power play just 1:16 into the third. Howard hugged the right post to deny a shot but lost sight of the bouncing puck behind the net, enabling Alexandre Bolduc to come out on the left side for a backhanded wraparound. The Moose then netted the eventual game-winner only 1:39 later, when Mike Keane stuffed a pass from former Griffin Mark Cullen inside the left post.  

Howard earned well-deserved second star honors on the night, while the victorious Schneider made 21 stops to garner third star.

Three Stars: 1. MTB Bolduc (power play goal, assist); 2. GR Howard (L, 32 saves); 3. MTB Schneider (W, 21 saves)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3 4
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2
Photo Gallery
Official Game Report


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