Ellis' Overtime Tally Tops Moose|
Griffins Take 2-1 Series Lead...
By Jason Kasiorek
Captain Matt Ellis kept up his hot hand, notching an overtime goal to give the Griffins a series leading second win over the Manitoba Moose. Matt Hussey had the other goal for Grand Rapids in a rough, physical game that also featured a missed penalty shot by Eric Himelfarb. Jimmy Howard tuned in his third consecutive outing only giving up one goal, stopping 24 shots.
Manitoba jumped out of the gate on fire with lots of hitting. Bootland stole the puck in the offensive zone and had a great offensive chance but was stopped by MacIntyre. This gave GR some jump and their counter-attack ramped up, taking over the play for much of the latter half of the period. Shots on goal: GR 10 -Man 6
The Moose scored the first goal of the game 37 seconds into the second period when Brown took the puck away from Meech and carried it around behind the net. There he spotted former Griffin Brendan Brooks and dished to him in the circle for a quick goal. Matt Hussey tied the game at one about three minutes later when he shot down the side, beat the defenseman and put a low shot on MacIntyre that bounced off his leg and in five-hole. Bootland dropped the gloves with Tremblay and really worked him over in a pretty one-sided bout. Three seconds later all hell broke loose as Brown went after Miller . They ended up piling into Howard along the boards, and the three players were throwing punches. Brad Norton shot in to help and started punching Brown. Two other fights broke out at the same time with Ben Simon taking some lumps from Ryan before throwing him to the ice and landing several blows. Shots on goal GR 9 - Man 8.
Turnover at the line lead to a Goren breakaway , but Jimmy just got enough of it to keep it out. Slower pace in the third, with neither team having a decided advantage. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Manitoba 6.
The Griffins started the OT on the powerplay but were not able to get anything going. The Moose really carried the play in the extra session, with Derek Meech struggling - several turnovers. Jan Mursak had a couple of dangerous chances, but just came up short. BS call to Ellis puts the Griffins down a man. Himelfarb with a short handed break is hooked down, the ref points to center ice - a penalty shot. Himelfarb streaks in on goal and fires the puck into MacIntyre's mid-section. Another Griffins penalty and things are looking bleak when Captain Matt Ellis carries over the line and put a weak shot on net as he goes to the bench. The shot beats MacIntyre for a shorthanded game-winner and a 2-1 series lead. Shots on Goal: GR 5 - Man 5.
Simon - Ellis - Miller
Mursak/Parse - Himelfarb - Bootland
Voce - Oulahen - Campbell
Hussey - McGrath - Parse
Smith - Meech
Kindl - Norton
Insana - Ericsson
Ellis - Himelfarb - Miller
Kindl - Meech
Voce - Parse/McGrath - Mursak
Insana - Kindl/Parse
Ellis - Oulahen
Smith - Meech
Simon - Himelfarb
Norton - Insana
Jakub Kindl was one of the Griffins best players tonight. He showed off some great skating and quick feet. He also made some great plays especially with the man advantage and made up for a couple of bad bounces with a quick recovery. Kindl earned an assist on the Griffins first goal and logged a ton of ice time.
Mursak was also very noticeable especially in the OT, where he showcased his absolutley sick skill with puck.
Jimmy made some huge saves, and more importantly he kept his calm in traffic and provided the confidence for this team to win.
Ryan Barnes was in the building as was a very happy Kyle Quincey who was entertaining his teammates with stories of his recent playoff game in Detroit.