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Young Guns McGrath and Helm Power Griffins Past Moose 6-3
Former Griffin MacIntyre gets blitzed for 6 goals on 33 shots...
By Jason Kasiorek

On a rainy spring night the Griffins provided their own thunder storm, turning in a solid performance to dump the arch-rival Manitoba Moose 6-3. Darren Helm, a late return from the NHL, turned in a dominant performance scoring two goals and displaying some great skill on the forecheck. Surging Evan McGrath kept up his hot hand scoring his 17th of the season and adding two assists. Grand Rapids also got goals from Frankie Lemieux, Tyler Redenbach, and Randall Gelech in the rout. Adam Berkhoel had another strong start stopping 20 of 23 for the his 10th win of the season.

It took the Griffins a few minutes to get up to speed and match Manitoba's energy level, but when they did, they took over for a solid showing. Backup Adam Berkhoel held the fort early stopping a couple of good chances until his teammates could get going. Frankie Lemieux got things going with his super hustle on the forecheck, forcing a turnover in the nuetral zone that McGrath picked up. Evan made a nice cross ice feed to a streaking Lemieux who ripped a shot past MacIntyre for a one goal lead. It was almost 2-0 a few minutes later, Emmerton snuck in for a great chance, but MacIntyre just made the stop. Towards the end of the frame, Redenback scored his third of the season, snapping a shot from the circle through traffic that bulged the twine behind MacIntyre for a powerplay tally. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - Man 7.

Manitoba got on the board early in the second at the 19 second mark when Bolduc shot in on Berkhoel and wristed a shot between his legs for an ugly goal. Randall Gelech got the goal back a few minutes later, as he followed up the play and slid a loose puck past Mac to make it 3-1. Helm made it 4-1 on the penalty kill a minute later when he stole the puck and blazed in on goal, freezing MacIntyre and tucking it five-hole for an electrifying goal. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Man 8.

The moose pulled within two with Genoway walking around Insana for a free shot at Berkhoel, chipping the puck over his shoulder. Helm answered a minute and a half later, notching his second of the game. Great second effort by Darren in tight to pick up his own rebound and lift it behind Mac to make it 5-2. Emmerton stole the puck at the line and went in on MacIntyre but lost the puck as he tried to shoot it. Traffic jam in front of the Grand Rapids net, Rallo lets a high shot go through traffic that finds its way into the net behind Berkhoel cutting the lead to two again. Evan McGrath put the nail in the coffin with less than a minute to play on the powerplay, when he crashed the net, scoring a goal, and then following it in. Shots on goal: GR 8 - Man 8. For the Game: GR 33 - Lake Erie 23.

Ritola - Helm - Corazzini
O'Leary - Emmerton/Tardif - Tardif/Redenbach
Lemieux - McGrath - Gelech
Helm/O'Leary - Emmerton/Redenbach - Mueller Lemieux - Emmerton - Mueller

Ericsson - Stafford
Quincey - Galvin
Kindl - Insana

Starter: Berkhoel
Backup: Howard

Ference - wrist
Cullen - Shoulder
Oulahen - Knee

Tardif - O'Leary - Redenbach
Stafford - Ericsson

Ritola - Helm - Corazzini
Kindl - Quincey

O'Leary - Tardif
Ericsson - Stafford

Helm - Corazzini
Kindl - Galvin

Redenbach - Gelech


Nice to see theboys get their 30th win of season - granted I wish they had about 20 more, but for awhile 30 looked to be a stretch.

Mueller had a pretty impressive debut. He got his nose dirty around the net several times, and played a gritty in your face game.

Frankie Lemieux really stood out again this game. He was skating around like he had been shot out of a cannon, and his hustle was directly responsible for the goal he scored in the first. It will be very interesting to see if he recieves a qualifying offer from Detroit or not.

Helm had an incredible night, showing off some new moves and confidence from his stint in Detroit. For a while in the third he was skating by Moose players and taking the puck away almost at will. A very dominant performance for a kid that has really come on in the second half. If he adds some muscle over the off-season he could stand a chance at not coming back to GR.

Official Game Sheet