Amerks Outlast Griffins 5-3|
McCollum roughed up in return to Griffins crease...
By Jason Kasiorek
January 22nd 2016
Things looked good for Grand Rapids when Tomas Nosek scored the first goal of the game, just 6 minutes in, but it was all downhill from there. Netminder Thomas McCollum, returning from the injured list, got a rude welcome back to the Griffins crease as he was lit up for four goals including a couple that were of the soft variety. The good news was that he did make 44 saves in the losing effort including a scoreless second period. Grand Rapids also got tallies from Ryan Sproul (4) and Jakub Kindl (5).
Welsh got through the defense for a partial break on McCollum, but Jensen just got a little piece of him, and McCollum was in position to take the rest away. Jeff Hoggan with a nice move and a scoring chance on Ullmark. Campbell in front didn't make any friends with a couple of pokes at the rebound, drawing a crowd. Nosek picked up the rebound of a Martin Frk shot and lifted a fluttering knuckleball past Ullmark glove side to open the scoring. The Amerks pushed McCollum and the puck into the net, but it was immediately waived off. Donovan got Rochester on the board with a shot from the circle through traffic that slid into the net, low glove side. D'Amigo made it 2-1 when he went in and fired a shot in over McCollum, that the netminder would probably like back. Late in the period, the Griffins had an awful power play, generating no shots and little possession. Zengerle in the slot had a great chance to tie it, but his shot at the backdoor hit a player as he went through the crease. Shots on goal: GR 12 - ROC 20.
Paetsch was hurt behind the play, got up slowly holding his face and made his way to the bench. McCollum made a stop and a scrum broke out in front of the net. Nosek up the middle with speed had a nice chance on Ullmark. Frk good work to get some space with the puck and got off a cannon of a shot that just went wide. The puck went to Frk right off the face off for a glorious chance but he fanned on it. Frk with another shot, but it was deflected and Bertuzzi took a swipe at it as he skated by. Great give and go with Zengerle in the circle to a pair of Griffins before finding the late man Sproul coming up the slot. Sproul fired a heavy shot past Ullmark to knot things at 2 goals. Frk and Austin pushing and shoving behind the play after the buzzer sounded. Shots on goal: GR 13 - ROC 16.
Callahan battling in front had a great chance point blank on Ullmark. Sproul got beat wide but deftly poked the poked the puck away and out of trouble. McCollum made the initial stop but didn't do a good job of covering the rebound laying in the crease next to him, and Rodrigues poked it into the cage as he tried to cover it with his glove. Colin Campbell with a nice chance in fornt and then Robak smoked Nosek along the board and went to the box. Griffins turnover and Dupuy picked it up and put a shot in from the slot over McCollum to give the Amerks a two goal lead. Grand Rapids with a late powerplay and McCollum was summoned to the bench with 3:02 remaining for the extra attacker. Another Rochester penalty made it a 6-on-3 advantage. Kindl went end-to-end, worked his way up the slot and fired a wrister past Ullmark to cut the deficit to 1. Donovan speared Callahan in the groin as a scrum was breaking up, but the officials didn't see it. D'Amigo capped the scoring and sealed the loss with an empty netter in the final minute. Shots on goal: GR 19 - ROC 13. For the Game: GR 44 - Roc 49.
Bertuzzi - Nosek/Miele - Frk
Tangradi - Athanasiou - Mantha
Callahan - Miele/Nosek - Zengerle
Hoggan - Aubry - Campbell
Kindl - Russo
Lashoff - Sproul
Paetsch - Jensen
#11 Cleary - Lower Body Injury
#16 Ouellet - Injury
#23 Grant - Injury
#32 Hirschfeld - Seizure
Tangradi - Zengerle - Athanasiou
Patesch - Mantha
Callahan - Miele - Frk
Kindl - Sproul
Miele - Tangradi
Paetsch - Jensen
Nosek - Aubry
Lashoff - Kindl
This game saw the return of Andreas Athanasiou and also the home return of Mitch Callahan. As expected, Zach Nastasiuk was returned to Toledo and with AJ Jenks who was released from his PTO.
Kindl looked like an NHL'er on his goal in the third period, head up, decisive, confident... Wish he could figure out how to play that way more often, because he was brutal earlier in the game.
McCollum wasn't that bad, but a couple of the goals he gave up were soft, and you could feel the team's energy collapse.