GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Manitoba Moose 3
Dec. 11, 2021
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Turner Elson’s late third period goal wasn’t enough for the Grand Rapids Griffins as they fell 3-2 to the Manitoba Moose on Saturday during their final game at Canada Life Centre this season.
The Griffins were swept in the road series against the Moose with a 0-3-0-1 record. Despite the loss, the Griffins’ defense held Manitoba to just 22 shots, which tied for the fewest attempts allowed this season. Elson bagged a two-point night (1-1—2) and extended his goal streak to three games, which is tied with Jonatan Berggren and Kyle Criscuolo for the longest on the team this campaign.
As the contest began, neither team registered a shot for the first 6:23 of the opening period. Grand Rapids’ Dennis Yan took the game’s first chance at 6:24, with Manitoba’s coming 42 seconds later.
The Griffins only had two shot attempts in the opening frame, tying for the fewest recorded this season in a period for Grand Rapids. In fact, the Griffins totaled just 18 shots in 80 minutes of play this weekend in Manitoba.
The Moose opened the scoring when Cole Maier took the puck away from the defense and found Haralds Egle at the left wing. With 7:11 remaining in the first, Egle skated toward the goal and wrapped the puck around the right post.
At 14:11, Leon Gawanke took a long shot from the high slot, putting the biscuit over the left shoulder of Calvin Pickard and giving the Moose a 2-0 lead.
After a stagnant offense in the first, Grand Rapids found its legs with a scoring chance at 8:05. Elson stood at the right wing, waiting to find a streaking Riley Barber. Barber then skated down the slot and sent a wrister into the net to cut the deficit to one. Barber’s goal marked his 50th point as a Griffin, which extended his point streak (2-1—3) to three games.
In the third period the Griffins had multiple chances on the power play, including a four-minute advantage after a double minor for high sticking by Manitoba’s Austin Poganski. However, Grand Rapids failed to convert against the third-ranked penalty killing unit of the Moose.
Actually, Manitoba scored a shorthanded tally during the Griffins’ man advantage when Kristen Reichel gathered the loose puck and buried it from in between the circles with 10:26 remaining to give the Moose a two-goal lead.
During a Manitoba power play a few moments later, Grand Rapids scored its own shorthanded goal at 11:42. Elson stole the puck away from the Moose in the neutral zone and went down the ice by himself. The left winger snapped the disc over the left shoulder of Mikhail Berdin, reducing the deficit to one.
As time was running out, Pickard was pulled off for an extra skater with 1:07 remaining. The Griffins tried to send the contest into overtime but failed to score a late tally, giving Manitoba a 3-2 victory.
Grand Rapids went 0-for-5 on the power play, marking its third straight game without a special-teams score.
Dating back to the 2019-20 season, the Griffins are now winless in their last six trips to Manitoba (0-5-0-1).
Grand Rapids 0 1 1 - 2
Manitoba 2 0 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Manitoba, Egle 1 (Maier), 12:49. 2, Manitoba, Gawanke 4 (Maier, Eyssimont), 14:11. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-3, Grand Rapids, Barber 7 (Elson, Murphy), 8:05. Penalties-Samberg Mb (cross-checking), 8:20; Newpower Gr (fighting), 17:54; Caron Mb (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 17:54.
3rd Period-4, Manitoba, Reichel 5 9:34 (SH). 5, Grand Rapids, Elson 8 11:42 (SH). Penalties-Eyssimont Mb (hooking), 4:34; Poganski Mb (double minor - high-sticking), 5:52; McKenzie Gr (cross-checking), 11:07.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 2-11-8-21. Manitoba 8-8-6-22.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 0 / 5; Manitoba 0 / 1.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Pickard 9-7-2 (22 shots-19 saves). Manitoba, Berdin 9-6-0 (21 shots-19 saves).
1. MB Gawanke (goal); 2. MB Maier (two assists); 3. MB Reichel (shorthanded, game-winning goal)
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 9-10-2-1 (21 pts.) / Sat., Dec. 18 vs. Toronto 7 p.m.
Manitoba: 15-7-1-0 (31 pts.) / Sat., Dec. 16 at Chicago 11 a.m.
Photo by Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose