11/15/2007 11:37 PM
– The Grand Rapids Griffins jumped to an early lead on Thursday, but saw the Manitoba Moose rally to grab a 2-1 decision at the MTS Centre.
The loss marked the first time in three meetings this season that the Griffins have fallen to Manitoba and dropped Grand Rapids’ road record to 5-2-0-1. The Griffins (5-8-0-1) will not wait long to shoot for revenge. After a night’s rest, they take on the Moose (9-5-1-0) again Friday night at 8:30 p.m.
Randall Gelech kicked off the scoring at 2:22 of the opening period as he walked the puck into the left wing circle and sent it fluttering past Drew MacIntyre’s glove hand. The Griffins were whistled for three penalties in the first 15 minutes, but successfully killed all three to maintain a 1-0 edge after the first 20 minutes.
Though Grand Rapids continued to control the flow of the game, holding a 14-5 second-period shot advantage, the Moose netted the equalizer shortly after the game’s midpoint at 13:01. Zack FitzGerald took a tough angle at the net, but managed to deflect the puck off of Jimmy Howard and into the goal mouth.
Mike Brown gave Manitoba the lead for good at 9:44 of the final frame when he took a pass from Greg Classen on a two-on-one break and steered it past Howard. The 2-1 count in favor of the Moose held, bringing the Griffins’ winless streak to seven games (0-6-0-1).
Tom Galvin picked up an assist on Gelech’s goal, giving him his second three-game assist streak of the season. Both teams had a fruitless night on the power play as Grand Rapids was blanked on three opportunities and Manitoba failed to convert any of their five chances. Howard recorded 20 saves in the losing effort, and MacIntyre denied his former team 33 times to pick up the victory.