Griffins Maul Moose 7-2 For 9th Straight Win|
Top line tears it up with 4 goals - 12 points...
By Jason Kasiorek
March 11th, 2016
With the parent Red Wings' brass in full force watching the game tonight you would expect the team to put on a performance, auditioning for roles in the NHL. The Griffins did not disappoint, scoring early and often in a 7-2 rout of the visiting Manitoba Moose for their 9th straight win. The first line of Andy Miele between Eric Tangradi and Anthony Mantha led the way, scoring 4 goals and 8 assists. Rookie blueliner Robbie Russo continued his ascension up the prospect's leaderboard with a goal and 3 assists of his own while Jared Coreau picked up his 28th win, making 20 saves. Grand Rapids also got tallies from Nick Jensen (3) and Tyler Bertuzzi (10), giving them 8 forwards in double digits in goals scored.
Eric Tangradi opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game when his pass from behind the net hit a Moose defenseman and behind Hellebuyck for his 20th of the season. Andy Miele extended the lead to 2 with his 13th as the Griffins lit up Michigan native Connor Hellebucyk. A few minutes later linemate Anthony Mantha scored his 19th to run the score to 3-0. Tomas Nosek took a hard off the stanchion in front of the penalty box and stayed down on his knees for a few seconds, assessing the damage. He got up and threw a hit on DeSalvo, knocking him flying. He went to the box for interference and the Grand Rapids penalty killers shut down the Moose powerplay. Shots on goal: GR 14 - Man 8.
Tangradi in front picked up his 2nd of the night to give Grand Rapids a 4-0 lead, backhanding a shot from the slot past Hellebuyck. Good pressure on the powerplay, several shots generated and play stayed in the Manitoba zone the full two minutes. Shortly after the powerplay, Russo way up in the play picked up the rebound of a Tangradi chance and flicked it behind Hellebuyck to extend the lead to 5-0. Aubry shorthanded breakaway but ran out of room and couldn't lift it over Hellebuyck's pad. Shots on goal: GR 13 - Man 6.
Nosek with a shot right in front that hit the Manitoba netminder. Melchiori smoked Ouellet with a borderline open ice hit that sent him flying. Campbell went right over and dropped the gloves for a spirited bout. Both players landed punches with Campbell appearing to gain the edge at the end. As would be expected in a blowout, the hitting game really started picking up led by a frustrated Manitoba team. Frk to the box for charging on a hit on Angeli. De Leo took a pass in the circle and fired it in over Coreau's stick on the ensuing powerplay, breaking the shutout. Callahan took a major penalty for elbowing leaving his team short for five minutes. GR 2-on-1turned into a partial breakaway, but it was broken up when a Moose player threw his stick at the puck. Somehow there was no call on what looked like it should be a penalty shot. Manitoba scored again on the major to Callahan to cut the lead to three on a goal by DeSalvo. Another Griffins odd man rush, this time with Jensen and Aubry. Aubry passed and Jensen roofed it for his third of the season. Late hot from behind on Sproul with no call. Bertuzzi on the powerplay took a cross-ice feed from Russo back door and ripped a shot in for a 7-2 lead and the win. Shots on goal: GR 8 - Man 8. For the game: GR 35 - Man 22.
Tangradi - Miele - Mantha
Bertuzzi - Nosek - Frk
Callahan - Zengerle - Andersson
Hoggan - Aubry - Campbell
Ouellet - Russo
Lashoff - Jensen
Paetsch - Sproul
#23 Grant - Injury
#32 Hirschfeld - Seizure/Brain Surgery
Callahan - Miele - Mantha
Frk - Sproul
Tangradi - Zengerle - Bertuzzi
Ouellet - Russo
Aubry - Nosek
Lashoff - Jensen
Andersson - Campbell
Paetsch - Ouellet
The Griffins dominated the game at both ends for most of the contest until they ran into penalty trouble in the third.
The first line put on a clinic and looked to be scoring at will. The good news about that was the Tangradi looks to be shedding the slump that has plagued him since his last Detroit recall. It was also nice to see Mantha playing physical and battling for position.
While the parent Wings have suffered from a questionable blueline this season, the Griffins are among the best in the league. I rave enough about the steady play of Brian Lashoff who just makes the game look easy, but the last couple of weeks have seen the rise of Robbie Russo to prominence as he has been on fire as of late, scoring an amazing 3 goals and 11 assists in his last 8 games with a +16 rating.