Manitoba Moose 4 at Grand Rapids Griffins 2
Nov. 29, 2019
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped their fourth consecutive game on Friday night at Van Andel Arena as the Manitoba Moose were able to pull out a 4-2 victory during the 20th annual Teddy Bear Toss.
The Griffins (9-11-1-1) found themselves down by four goals before Chris Terry lit the lamp late in the second period, giving life to Grand Rapids. The Moose (11-11-0-0) saw their lead drop to two goals with five minutes left but Grand Rapids’ late push fell short.
The Griffins will finish their Thanksgiving week three-games-in-four-nights stretch on Saturday when they travel to Rockford to take on the IceHogs at 6 p.m. EST.
The Moose tested rookie goaltender Filip Larsson in the early minutes of the game and scored their first goal of the evening at 5:10. Emile Poirier skated down the left wing and sent the puck across the Griffins’ zone to an open C.J. Suess at the right circle. Suess’ slapshot sailed over the blocker of Larsson and snuck inside the left goalpost.
The Griffins’ offense found some rhythm during their opening power play as Joe Hicketts and Moritz Seider rallied off shots from the blue line but Griffen Outhouse was up for the challenge.
Grand Rapids started the second frame well with a 3-1 shot advantage in the beginning five minutes, highlighted by a Chase Pearson shot in the middle of the zone that was gloved down by Outhouse.
The Moose extended their lead with 14:03 remaining when Johnathan Kovacevic tallied his second of the season. Jansen Harkins recorded his 19th assist of the season after winning the faceoff in the Griffins’ zone and finding Kovacevic who skated to the right wing and rifled a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net.
Manitoba made it a three-goal contest with 10:31 remaining in the second. Harkins forced a turnover behind the net and centered the puck to Griffith, whose one-timer was saved by the left skate of Larsson. However, the puck stayed on the right goalpost and Andrei Chibisov was able to jam the puck through for his sixth of the year.
The Moose continued their dominant second frame and scored their fourth unanswered goal at 13:01. A 2-on-1 break saw Nelson Nogier rip a shot from the right circle that was kicked away by Larsson but the puck took an unfortunate bounce to the stick of Suess who smashed the puck home on an open net. After the goal, Larsson was replaced by Pat Nagle, who was recalled from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye on Thanksgiving. Nagle finished the contest stopping all seven shots he faced.
The better play from the Griffins lead to their opening goal on a power play with 1:22 left in the second, as fans tossed over 2,000 teddy bears onto the ice benefiting Hug-A-Bears of Kent County. Hicketts, from the left boards, found Terry at the center of the right circle and his one-timer sped over the right shoulder of Outhouse for his team-high 11th tally of the season.
Grand Rapids carried its momentum and intensity into the final period, generating multiple scoring opportunities. Evgeny Svechnikovtook a shot from the right wing that was deflected by a Moose defender and missed the net just wide. Smith and Brian Lashoff got in on the action with shots from the middle of the zone that were kicked away by Outhouse.
With five minutes left in the contest, Grand Rapids cut the Moose lead down to two when Dominic Turgeon found his fifth of the year. Terry’s wrap-around pass from the right goalpost snuck through the crease and Turgeon’s one-timer beat the right skate of Outhouse to make it 4-2 in favor of Manitoba.
The Griffins made a last-ditch effort in the final minutes of the contest as Svechnikov and Turgeon produced great chances that were blocked away by Outhouse, giving the Moose a 4-2 victory.
Notes: Ford skated in his 200th game as a Griffin…The attendance of 9,102 was the team’s largest since their sellout on opening night…Larsson finished with 13 saves…Grand Rapids finished 1-for-4 on the power play and Manitoba went 0-for-3…Calvin Pickard became the 181st Griffin to play in the NHL after starting for Detroit tonight at Philadelphia…Nagle appeared in his fourth game for Grand Rapids.
Three Stars: 1. MB Suess (two goals); 2. MB Outhouse (W, 26 saves); 3. GR Terry (goal, assist)
Photo by Sam Iannamico/Griffins