Rivermen Top Griffins in Shootout 2-1|
Berkhoel Comes Out On Wrong Side of Defensive Battle...
By Jason Kasiorek
Griffins' netminder Adam Berkhoel waged a defensive battle with Peoria's Chris Beckford-Tseu. For the first 65 minutes of the game they matched each other shot for shot holding the score at 1-1. But the shootout was a different story as Berkhoel gave up markers to three of four skaters while his counterpart allowed only Cullen to score, giving Peoria a 2-1 victory. Defenseman Garrett Stafford, making his return from an injury that caused him to miss several games, scored the lone goal for Grand Rapids.
Hartigan had a great chance early in the period when he was sprung on a breakaway, but couldn't get the puck over Beckford-Tseu. Grand Rapids doing a better job of breaking up Peoria's chances, but not generating many of their own. Martin Kariya took a nice pass from Trudel in front, using his quick hands to flick the puck over a sprawled out Berkhoel to take a 1-0 lead. GR 10 - Peo 7.
The second period started the rough stuff as both teams picked up the physical tempo and tempers got short. Kyle Quincey seemed very irritable and was usually fund in the middle of the scrums. Tardif shouldered MacKenzie into his own net setting off another scrum, and landing the scrappy winger in the box. A few minutes later Glumac ran through the crease and speared Berkhoel in the head. The blow knocked the goaltenders mask off and sent him to the ice where he stayed for a few minutes. After some attention by the trainer, he was able to resume play. Grand Rapids tied things up on the ensuing power play. Cullen on his way to the net made a great drop pass to Stafford who roofed a shot over Beckford-Tseu high, stick-side. Tardif dropped the gloves with Glenn, threw him to the ice, and then got a couple of licks in. With time running out in the period Quincey got cross-checked high by Glumac, but the linesman kept him from retaliating. Shots on Goal: GR 6 - Peo 7.
Quincey got his man in the third, body slamming Glumac to the ice and throttling him before being pulled off by the officials. Late in the third Grand Rapids got a scare when a loose puck trickled past Berkhoel but rolled just wide. Shots on Goal: GR 6 - Peo 8.
The overtime featured end to end action with both netminder's making a couple of good saves. Shots on Goal: GR 2 - Peo 2. For the Game: GR 24 - Peo 25.
Trudel wen t first for Peoria skating in and ripping a shot stick side past Berkhoel. Hartigan fired a shot that Beckford-Tseu knocked aside with his glove. Lemtyugov went next, deking Berkhoel and then tucking the puck around him for a goal. Corazzini was the second shooter for GR, and he cut in from the side, made a great move and ripped the puck off the goalies pad. Drazenovic ran out of room and didn't get a shot off to start the third round. Cullen skated in, almost came to a complete stop and then roofed a shot off the crossbar to put GR on the board. Dupont got Berkhoel moving and slid the puck in 5-hole for a 3-1 lead. Stafford didn't get a shot off for the griffins in the fourth round and Peoria skated away with a 2-1 victory.
Corazzini - Hartigan - Ritola
Helm - Cullen - Engelhardt/Gelech
Oulahen - McGrath - Tardif/Gelech
Galvin/Kindl - Meech
Ericsson - Insana
Stafford - Quincey
Note: Coach Stothers dressed 7 defensemen so the pairings changed a lot.
Ference - wrist
Howard - Finger
Tardif - Hartigan - Corazzini
Meech - Stafford
Ritola - Cullen - Engelhardt
Galvin - Quincey/Kindl
Tardif - Oulahen
Ericsson - Insana
Corazzini - Cullen
Meech - Quincey
Hartigan - Helm
Kyle Quincey had another solid game in a row, he was very noticeable and a rock on defense. His physcial play has really picked up, and the Rivermen had to keep their heads up when he was on the ice.
Defenseman Brad Ference apparently got bad news yesterday, and will probably miss the rest of the season having major surgery to repair the tendons and nerves in his wrist which were completely severed.
Neil Clark, Adam Keefe and Jimmy Howard watched the third period, OT and the shootout from above section 220 and looked to be enjoying themselves, especially watching the shootout with interest.
It would be nice to see some more creativity and thought in the Griffins' offense. Every night is the same thing, cross the line, take a couple strides and let a shot go. Very rarely do you see a nice passing play, or someone screening the goalie for an attempt. Of the Griffins' 24 shots, maybe 8 or 9 were actually of the dangerous variety.
Berkhoel had a pretty solid game, and again couldn't come away with a win.