Moose Steamroll Sloppy Griffins 4-1
Former Griffin MacIntyre Rebounds for Win...
By Jason Kasiorek
A disappointing effort by the home team cost the Griffins dearly as they allowed Manitoba back into the series with a 4-1 win. The Moose capitalized on several Grand Rapids turnovers including two shorthanded chances that ended up behind Jimmy Howard. Tony Voce scored the lone goal for the Griffins halfway through the third, but it was too little too late.
Manitoba came out ready to play, and were in control of the game from the first puck drop. Grand Rapids appeared to be in need of a nap and had a hard time matching the Moose's instensity. Mike Keane intercepted a lazy pass from Miller and streaked in on Howard for a shorthanded breakaway, beating Jimmy five-hole. Shots on goal: GR 9 - Man. 7.
The second was more of the same with only Howard's stellar netminding holding the Moose at bay. The Griffins don't seem to be playing together, and Manitoba is really taking it to them. Shots: GR 9 - Manitoba 11.
The Giffins sloppy play finally caught up with them in third as another turnover on the powerplay led to a shorthanded breakaway by Ryan who flipped the puck over Howard, stick side. Himelfarb thought he had scored a goal to put Grand Rapids back in the game, but the puck lay on the line and the ref called no goal. Tony Voce finally put the Griffins on the scoresheet with his first of the playoffs, firing a rocket from the circle that beat MacIntyre low, glove side. This seemed to give GR some life as they started to go to the net and skate with a purpose. The joy was shortlived however as 2 minutes later with Insana in the box, the Moose clicked for a powerplay goal. Fortunas on the doorstep took a great pass from Genoway and roofed it glove side. Parse had a golden opportunity late in the game with an open net, but shanked it off the post. Norton got hurt and barely got back to the bench. He had to be half carried down the tunnel, and did not return. Jaffrey iced the game with an empty netter with 1:02 on the clock to tie the series at two. Shots GR 15 - Man. 10.
Simon - Ellis - Miller
Mursak - Himelfarb - Bootland
Hussey - McGrath - Parse
Voce - Oulahen - Campbell
Smith - Meech
Kindl - Norton
Ericsson - Insana
Ellis - Himelfarb - Miller
Meech/Parse - Kindl
Voce - Parse - Bootland
Ericsson - Insana
Oulahen - Himelfarb
Norton - Insana
Simon - Ellis
Ericsson - Smith
I don't even know where to start except to say that the game was pretty much a writeoff. The team didn't show up until 10 minutes into the third, and even then it was only for a few minutes.
Kip Miller had a terrible night. He looked a step slow and mishandled the puck a number of times. Errant passes that led to turnovers were the hallmark of his game tonight.
The Griffins powerplay has long been a weakness, but now not only is it not scoring, but it giving the other team prime scoring chances. Two awful turnovers led to shorthanded goals tonight, not good.
Frequent whipping boy Brad Norton played a solid game, and was noticable for all the right reasons. Hopefully he will keep up his strong play.