Senators Stun Griffins in 4-3 Shootout Loss
Filip Zadina first star with 2 goals and an assist...
By Jason Kasiorek
January 11th, 2019
Filip Zadina put on a dominant performance, answering any critics about his world junior championships performance, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist for his first professional three point night. The gifted puck handler was on top of his game, and was a scoring threat every time he was on the ice. Chris Terry added his league leading 23rd goal of the season, but it was not enough as the home team fell victim to the visiting Belleville Senators in the shootout 4-3. Patrick Rybar was solid between the pipes in absorbing the loss, making 20 saves. The Shootout loss lifted the Griffins into a tie for first place in the Central Division with the Iowa Wild.
Filip Zadina got the Griffins on the board just four minutes into the game, showing off his next level ability to make plays. He won a battle along the boards cut between two defenders into the slot and lasered a shot past Gustavsson for a 1-0 lead. Rybar scrambling to make a save and Joe Hicketts made a save on the open side of the net. Hicketts then got mugged behind the play for his trouble with no call. Grand Rapids appeared to score again, but it was waived off immediately as it was directed into the net with a high stick.Dylan McIlrath with a big hip check on Sieloff that looked painful.Hicketts again taking a lot of abuse between the whistles and behind the play. Belleville tied things up late in the period when Rodewald was left all alone at the side of the net and had plenty of time to take a pass and walk out in front and pick the far corner for a powerplay goal. Shots on goal: GR 6 - Bel 8.
Zadina struck again early in the second with his 10th of the campaign. Chelios carried the puck in and up the wing, passed to Megan and then got it back. He threaded the needle cross-ice to Zadina back-door for a quick shot and his second goal of the game. The lead was shortlived, however, as a Belleville got away with a hand pass that started a rush in on Rybar. McIlrath in front trying to box his man out inadvertently screened his own netminder and McCormick swooped in and jammed a rebound past Rybar. Brian Lashoff ended up in alone ahead of the pack on a partial break, but fired the puck just wide. Grand Rapids had a 4-on-2 rush and three different players got a stick on it, but couldn't get it in. McIlrath smoked Klimchuk right in front of the Belleville bench. Grand Rapids with a flurry of shots as Chris Terry cycled the puck. Zadina with an absolutely sick move to drag the puck between his legs as he blew by the defender for a point blank shot on Gustavsson. Turgeon drew a penalty late in the period as he and Campbell were forcing play on the forecheck, setting up the Griffins 1st powerplay of the game. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Bel 6.
Nice diving play by Saarijarvi to break up a rush and poke the puck up ice to Megan. Burgdoerfer's long point shot was tipped past Rybar by LaBate to give Bellville its first lead of the game. A delayed penalty to the Senators gave the Griffins a late powerplay. Midway through the man advantage coach Simon used his timeout and kept Rybar on the bench for a minute long 6-on-4 powerplay. Matt Ford with a big drive up the middle that hit Gustafsson low and took him a few minutes to shake off. Terry below the circle took a pass from Zadina and one-timed a rocket through Gustafsson to force overtime. Shots on goal: GR 13 - Bel 8.
Sulak with fresh legs chugged up the wing with the puck like a freight train, easily gaining the zone, and making a heads up play to Terry for a great scoring chance. Play back the other way and Rybar got run into. Belleville causing trouble around the net and the Griffins are really scrambling. Joe Hicketts in prime scoring position rang a shot off the crossbar. Zadina weaving through the zone, found a seam, but was tripped with no call. Shots on goal: GR 5 - Bel 1.
Dominic Turgeon was the first shooter for the home team, and he cut in from the circle and fired a shot off Rybar's pad. Tambellini was the first Senators shooter and he fired the puck wide of the net. Zadina went next for the Griffins and the shifty skater made several moves on his way in, but ran out of room and wasn't able to do much. Batherson burned in on Rybar and tried to go five-hole, but Rybar made the stop. Chris Terry started round three, trying to freeze Gustavsson and score with a slick backhander, but it hit the goalie and stayed out. Carey went in on Rybar and dipped his shoulder, the goalie went down and Carey picked a corner, glove-side for a shootout winning goal. Shots on goal: GR 0 - Bel 1. For the game: GR 35 - Bel 28.
#15 Elson - #22 Megan - #25 Terry
#12 Pope - #23 Turgeon - #45 Campbell
#55 Ford - #10 Holmstrom - #11 Zadina
#54 Smith - #39 Hulak - #65 Shine
#2 Hicketts - #52 McIlrath
#18 Lashoff - #9 Saarijarvi
#27 Chelios - #4 Sulak
Starter: #42 Rybar
Backup: #29 Sateri
#55 Ford - #15 Elson - #11 Zadina
#25 Terry- #2 Hicketts
#39 Hulak - #23 Turgeon - #22 Megan
#9 Saarijarvi - #10 Holmstrom
#23 Turgeon - #45 Campbell
#18 Lashoff - #52 McIlrath
#15 Elson - #22 Megan/#65 Shine
#27 Chelios - #2 Hicketts
Tough loss to take, especially to a last place team, but Belleville played a good game, and looked much better than their record would indicate.
Filip Zadina had perhaps his best game as a Griffin, statistics aside, he was engaged and on his toes, carrying the puck and jumping into holes. He even took a couple of hard checks, shrugged them off and got back into the play. Perhaps the bets descriptor is that he looked driven and wanted to be the difference maker.
David Pope was the winger d'jour with Campbell and Turgeon, and as usually happens, their hard work makes their new linemate raise their level of play. Pope had was very noticeable on the forecheck and really was skating tonight.
Dylan McIlrath played an aggressive game, with several shots attempts and was very physical, finishing checks and making life difficult in front of the Griffns net (including the goal he inadvertently screened Rybar on).
Despite only scoring one goal, Chris Terry was a force, especially during the second half of the game, making some sick plays and seemingly always in scoring position to receive the puck. He was credited with 5 shots, but probably had twice that many blocked.