Griffins Finally Solve Admirals In Shootout 3-2|
Revenge Is Sweet With Reinforced Lineup...
By Jason Kasiorek
The Grand Rapids Griffins mired in a six game losing streak, reached down deep and found enough to beat their arch-rivals the Milwaukee Admirals. Making the victory even sweeter was the fact that the Ads had savaged the Griffins several times this season. Jeff Campbell and Eric Himelfarb scored in regulation for the Griffins while all three shooters connected during the shootout.
Simon got fouled on the penalty kill, really smoking his shoulder as he was driven into the post. He looked to be favoring that arm the rest of the game, but he stayed in and was a large contributer. Milwaukee got on the board late in the first on the powerplay when a pass from behind the net found Brookbank cutting in for a point blank shot, stick side. Shortly thereafter, Keefe and Wilson dropped the gloves for a pretty even bout that saw Keefe thrown out for removing his elbow pad. Shots on goal 11-11.
Jimmy Howard did not return in the second, never reappearing on the bench, and Liv took over. Newcomer Scott Parse stripped the puck away for a breakaway, but tried to make a move and ran out of room. Himelfarb knocked down on a breakaway, Bootland stepped in and started a scrum, but nothing came of it. The Griffins finally scored 10 minutes into the second when Parse dished to Campbell in the circle. Campbell stroked it over Rinne for a powerplay goal. Eric Himelfarb put the Griffins up by one with some great second effort, jamming at the puck until he banged it home, low stick-side. Shots on Goal GR 15 - Mil 7.
The Griffins were really bearing down in the third creating havoc in the Admirals zone. Milwaukee could not get anything going, and every rush was broken up leading to a GR counter-attack. Bootland was cheapshotted twice and went looking for revenge leading to a big melee. When it was all sorted out, Booter got the extra two minutes which led to a Milwaukee powerplay. It took Milwaukee just 27 seconds to tie the score as Staal scooped up a loose puck right in front and chips it over Liv. Big momentum shift as Grand Rapids falls back on its heels. Shots on goal: GR 14 - Mil 10.
OT Shots on goal GR 2 - Mil 3.
Koistinen goes first for the ads but rips it wide. Ericsson is first for GR and he streaks in on net firing a low shot that beats Rinne. Milwaukees second shooter is Durno and he makes a move and lifts it over the net. Parse is the second shooter for the Griffins and he scores a pretty goal 5-hole. Segal is next for Milwaukee but he rips it right off Livs pads. Jamie Tardif wins the shootout when he banks the puck in off the post.
Simon - Ellis - Parse
Campbell - Oulahen - Tardif
Miller - Himelfarb - Bootland
Simon - McGrath - Keefe/Himelfarb
Meech - Smith
Quincey - Norton
Syvret - Ericsson
Simon - Ellis - Campbell
Miller - Parse
Himelfarb - McGrath - Tardif
Syvret - Quincey
Campbell - Oulahen
Quincey - Norton
Miller/Simon - Ellis
Meech - Smith
Parse - Oulahen/Himelfarb
Great to finally win one. When the Ads tied thing up late in the third I had that sinking feeling "here we go again". But not tonight.
Danny Syvret was really playing at a high level, obviously having improved with his time in the NHL. He was very smooth and reacted to the play as if it was in slow motion. Most impressive was when he skated in on his own net, blocked a shot and gloved to his stick, skating around the net and all the way to other end without breaking stride.
Great to have Ellis and Meech back in the lineup, what a difference.
Rookie Scott Parse had a very impressive debut. He showed off some great hands and really seemed to see the play well. He did not look out of place on the point of the powerplay, and had some good scoring chances late in the game. Like fellow sparkplug Jamie Tardif, Parse could turn out to be a valuable member of this team in the post-season.
While I can't blame it all on him (Awful calls), Bootland lost his composure in the latter stages of the game, and needs to tighten it up and become a factor in the game for his own team.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.