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Machovsky the Man in First AHL Start
Griffins rookie netminder shines in 3-2 shootout win...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 25th, 2018

Rookie Matej Machovsky made his first AHL start and picked up his first AHL win as he provided solid goaltending through the first three periods and then turning it up a notch in the overtime and shootout. Machovsky made 26 saves on 28 shots and then stopped all three shooters in the shootout. The Griffins offense was provided by Filip Hronek (8), and Matt Lorito (19) and capped with a shootout goal by Dominic Turgeon. The win was the second over Iowa in as many nights, both by a one goal margin.

Matej Machovsky between the pipes for the Griffins, making his first career AHL start. Early griffins powerplay in the first, for a faceoff violation just 35 seconds in. Lorito dragged the puck off the wall and fed it to Hronek at the line. Hronek fired a low shot in past Svedberg with Tangradi in front for his 8th of the season and a one goal lead. Tangradi had enough of Ryan White and went right over and started punching him. He landed several blows before taking him to the ice. The Wild answered back midway through the period when Anas fired a shot from the circle through traffic that beat Machovsky five-hole for a powerplay marker. Svechnikov promptly took his second straight penalty and went right back to the box. When he came out out of the box he almost ended up with a breakaway but couldn't handle the puck cleanly. He still managed to set up Turgeon and Campbell for an odd man rush. Elson cut in on net with the puck and was taken down with no call. Then Ford was whistled off on an iffy call. Nice save by Machovsky in the closing minutes of the period on a chance right in front. Shots on goal: GR 8 - Iowa 15.

Tangradi battling in front, using his size jockey for position. Delayed penalty on Iowa, Grand Rapids with lots of pressure and several good chances before Iowa touched up. Big drive by Hronek, then a chance by Street hit the post. Pass by Hronek to Lorito in the circle for a great shot. Grand Rapids attacking in waves with lots of possession time and sustained pressure. Hronek with another big drive that found its way through to the front of the net and hot Svechnikov. The puck went back the other way for a 3-on-2, and Hronek dove to take away the pass and send it back the other way for a scoring chance. As so often happens, after carrying play for most of the period and being unable to score, the Wild were able to take advantage of their chance as Mayhew blew a shot past Machovsky's glove for a 2-1 lead. The Griffins got it right back however as Campbell won a battle in the corner and and centered for Lorito who snapped a shot past Svedberg stick side. Machovsky made a sprawling save and ended up on his back with the puck under him. Several Wild players were jamming away at the puck which touched off a scrum and a pileup. White tried to hit Hicketts while he vulnerable, reaching for the puck, but Joe stood him up and sent him flying. Gabriel shot the puck at Machovsky after the final whistle which drew an audience with Renouf. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Iowa 6.

Two-on-one Iowa, and Hronek got enough of the pass to break up the play then back the other way for a Griffins 3-on-1, but Shine hit the post. Play back into the Grand Rapids zone and Machovsky had to be quick to flash a glove and snare a shot. Saarijarvi flew down the wing and ripped a shot off the post. The Turgeon-Campbell-Lorito line doing a great job of cycling the puck deep and creating scoring chances. Ford with a scoring chance, but his stick was held, leading to a Griffins powerplay. The powerplay was pretty impotent as was the following man advantage. Campbell corked a Wild player along the boards and was sent off for boarding. The Griffins caught a break as the puck was right by the line and kept out by McIlrath, setting up a scramble in front. Tangradi in front tried to tip a shot past past Svedberg and then Svedberg tripped him as he skated away, right in front of the official and no penalty again. Another scramble around the Griffins net but Machovsky covered to send the game to OT. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Iowa 6.

The overtime was all Grand Rapids. Lorito with a chance all alone in front, but Svedberg got a glove on it. Machovsky made a stop on Cannone in the circle. Saarijarvi carried the puck deep, circled the net, and then hit Ford for a great chance. Saarijarvi again with speed cut in on net and put a quick shot on Svedberg. Two on one Grand Rapids and Street hot the post, Lorito with the rebound just missed. Tangradi a chance right on the doorstep. Shots on goal: GR 4 - Iowa 1.

Anas was the first shooter for Iowa, blazing in on net and then cutting to the side and trying to tuck the puck around Machovsky, but the quick netminder slid across and made a nice pad save. Turgeon went next for the Griffins drifting way over to the side before cutting back in on net. He froze Svedberg and lifted the puck in over his pads for a 1-0 lead. Mitchell was the second shooter for the wild and he ripped a shot wide right. Tangradi was the second Griffins shooter and he fired it wide of the net. Kloos started the third round and tried to go five hole, but Machovsky took it away to preserve the win, his first career AHL win, 3-2. Shots on goal: GR 1 - Iowa 0. For the game: GR 35 - Iowa 28.

#28 Lorito - #23 Turgeon - #45 Campbell
#26 Tangradi - #10 Street - #77 Svechnikov
#15 Elson- #47 Elkins - #55 Ford
Various - #19 Esposito - #65 Shine

#5 Russo - #13 Hronek
#20 Renouf/#9 Saarijarvi - #52 McIlrath
#18 Lashoff - #2 Hicketts/#9 Saarijarvi

Starter: #34 Matej Machovsky
Backup: #30 McCollum

#25 Holmstrom
#37 Nastasiuk
#73 Puempel - Injured

Tangradi - Street - Svechnikov
Lorito - Hronek

Elson - Various - Ford
Hicketts - Saarijarvi

Turgeon - Campbell
Lashoff - Hicketts

Elson/Ford - Elkins
Renouf - McIlrath


Hard to believe that machovsky wasn't one of the stars of the game as he looked poised and confident all night, and was really a difference maker in the outcome of this game. The first things you notice about the rookie netminder is how quick his lateral movement is. He really gets across the net in a hurry, and reacts quickly. His glove hand was deceptively quick. The few times he came out of the net to handle the puck, he made good decisions and crisp passes both on the forehand and backhand and looked very comfortable. After making several good stops during the game, he looked incredibly confident in the shootout, and his reads on the shooter were very good as he seemed to be in the right place to make the stop without scrambling. It will be very interesting to watch his development the rest of the season.

Official Game Sheet