Oct. 30, 2010 – Manitoba Moose 2 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – If not for the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Manitoba Moose would be running away from the AHL’s pack.
The Griffins continued their mastery of the Moose by rallying for a 4-2 win on Saturday at Van Andel Arena, scoring three third-period goals to do for the third time what no other team has done once this season: beat Manitoba. The Moose, who are 5-0 against the rest of the league, sustained their first loss in four road games this season, while the Griffins claimed their first win at home following three one-goal defeats, including a pair of shootout losses.
Grand Rapids (5-2-0-2), which earned a point for a fourth consecutive game behind the stellar goaltending of Thomas McCollum, will be idle until hosting the season’s final meeting with the Moose next Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
The Griffins used their potent power play to take the lead 7:08 into the opening period. Just two seconds after a brief two-man advantage became a 5-on-4 situation, Cory Emmerton sent a pass through the slot to Jan Mursak, who potted a shot past Eddie Lack from the bottom of the left circle. The two Griffins established career-high point streaks on the play, with Mursak’s extending to six games and Emmerton’s to five.
Manitoba (5-3-0-0) tied matters during its first power play chance at 14:22, as Lee Sweatt’s cannon from the point slipped inside the left post.
Following a middle frame that was scoreless largely due to the play of McCollum, the Moose grabbed their first lead of the night 5:08 into the third. Rookie Bill Sweatt pounced on a rebound in the slot and put a backhander under the crossbar, marking the first pro game in which both brothers lit the lamp.
A pair of defensemen helped the Griffins claw back into the lead with goals 45 seconds apart midway through the period. Brendan Smith tied the score during a power play at 10:22 with a rocket into the top of the net from just inside the blue line, before Jamie Tardif tipped home Sebastien Piche’s try from the left boards at 11:07. Piche was originally credited with the goal, but the scoring was changed after the game.
Tardif tallied his second of the game and provided the final margin with an empty-netter at the 19:32 mark, the Griffins’ third goal on just four shots during the period.
McCollum, whose deft glovework enabled the Griffins to win despite being out-shot by a 10-4 count during each of the final two periods, finished with 28 saves to improve to 3-1-1 on the season. Lack made 14 stops in the losing effort.
Three Stars: 1. GR Tardif (2 goals); 2. GR McCollum (W, 28 saves); 3. MTB L. Sweatt (power play goal)