Manitoba Rallies for Shootout Win 3-2|
Second Year Netminder Howard Stellar Despite Loss...
By Jason Kasiorek
Despite some heroics by starter Jimmy Howard, the Griffins found themselves on the wrong end of a see-saw game falling to the Moose in the eighth round of the shootout. Howard was a rock between the pipes, stopping 38 shots in the loss. I lost count of the number of times he made a save to take away a sure goal. Tony Voce and Jon Insana scored for Grand Rapids, with Kip Miller adding a shootout goal.
Things got off to a rocky start for Manitoba when starter Wade Flaherty was taken out by his own player and had to leave the game after only 1:26. Former Griffin Drew MacIntyre came in and took over. Jon Insana scored his first goal of the season at about the five minute mark, blasting a shot from the top of the circle that beat MacIntyre five-hole, to give GR the lead. Howard came up big time and again including a flurry of saves through traffic while on his back. Shots on goal GR 9 - Man 15.
The intensity level began to pick up halfway through the second as Manitoba began to get frustrated. The banging and hitting got turned up a notch halfway through the game with both teams knocking people around. A big hit on Walsh that sent him flying precipitated an animated bout between Keefe and Brown. Adam stood toe to toe and absorbed a lot of punishment, but got some licks in. In the meantime Voce and Hunter dropped the gloves with Tony getting his ass handed to him. GR 4 - Man 9.
The Moose finally solved Howard, beating him twice in a 1:10 span to take the lead. Wood took a shot from the line through traffic that changed directions at least once before popping the twine behind Howard. Moran was credited with the goal. Shortly thereafter, Tremblay in the circle took a pass from behind the net and stroked it past Howard short side. The lead was shortlived, as two minutes later Voce blazed down the wing took a cross ice feed and snapped the puck into the top corner to tie it at two. Hussey had a great chance on a shorthanded breakaway later in the period, looking like he had been shot out of a cannon. He cut in on net and had a couple of pops at it as did his partner, but no goal. Jimmy was absolutely under siege in the latter stages of the period but he stood tall. Norton took a late penalty, leaving GR short going into OT. Shots on goal GR 11 - Man 11.
Great work by Oulahen, Himelfarb, Howard and Smith to kill off the Norton penalty. Norton appeared to have injured himself blocking a shot as time expired. Shots GR 1 - Man 5. For the game GR 25 - Man 40.
Keane was the first shooter for Manitoba and fired the puck right into Howard. Hussey went wide and cut in on net but was denied. Genoway just tucked it behind Howard and in as he fell. Campbell ripped a shot right into MacIntyre. Schultz was next for the Moose but was denied by Jimmy. McGrath made a nice move on his first attempt, but had the puck roll off his stick. Jaffrey tried to freeze Howard, but Jimmy closed off the net. Ericsson ripped one of of Drew's leg pad. Goren cut in ripped one, missing the net. Miller poked the puck five-hole to send the shootout into sudden death. Keane saw his opportunity disappear when Jimmy poke-checked the puck off his stick. McGrath had another go at it but MacIntyre got the pad on it. Genoway missed the net. Miller was denied. Schultz scored five-hole for the game winner, Hussey had a chacne to tie but Drew snared the shot with his glove. Moose win 3-2.
Miller - Oulahen - Keefe
Miller - Himelfarb - Hussey/Walsh
Campbell - Oulahen - Tardif
Voce/Walsh - McGrath/Voce - Keefe/Tardif/Miller/Hussey
Smith - Insana
Ericsson - Galvin
Quincey - Norton
#21 Kinley - Norton
Meech - Injured
Campbell - Oulahen - Tardif
Miller - Kinley/Quincey
Voce - Himelfarb - Keefe
Hussey - Ericsson
Oulahen - Himelfarb
Quincey - Smith/Ericsson
Tardif - Voce
Smith - Insana/Norton
Miller - Hussey
Incredible outing by Howard. He has played well lately, but this was a head turner of a game for him. If this is what he is going to bring in the post-season, Detroit better pay attention.
GR welcomes a new player to the lineup tonight with former college powerplay specialist Cleve Kinley wearign # 21 in the lineup. He only got a handful of shifts during the game, mostly on the powerplay, but didn't look too bad other than his ill-timed penalty late in the game.
Tony Voce really had a lot of jump this game, scoring his first goal as a griffin and was very noticeable. Hopefully he is strating to find the groove and will revert back to his high scoring days with Philadelphia.
Mike Walsh was much more active physically, and earned more ice time as the game went on because of it. He has not had much of a chance with the puck, but appears to have some decent speed and skill to go with that large frame.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.