Monsters Put Griffins On the Ropes With 2-1 Win
Korpisalo puts Grand Rapids in 0-3 hole...
By Jason Kasiorek
May 8th, 2016
The second round of the playoffs have not been kind to the Grand Rapids Griffins, a team which has ridden a bipolar series of extremes all season. While they have been in all three games against the Lake Erie Monsters, they have found a way to lose all of them. Tonight the offense could not find a way to solve Joonas Korpisalo who stopped 41 Grand Rapids shots, conceding only Ryan Sproul's second period tally. The powerplay continues to struggle, going 0 for 5 on the night and 2 for 15 in the series.
The Griffins did not get off to a great start, as a turnover ended up in their net just 17 seconds in. Anderson took advantage of a Griffins turnover, shot in alone on Thomas McCollum and fired a softy from the circle past him low glove side. Grand Rapids responded with tremendous pressure, registering the next 11 shots on goal. Mitch Callahan had a nice look at the side of net and then Andreas Athanasiou on the doorstep fired it into Korpisalo. Vogelhuber almost made it 2-0 when his shot beat McCollum, but banged off the post and crossbar before sailing into the corner. Andy Miele really getting worked over by Heatherington in front of the net. Tyler Bertuzzi got high-sticked by Chaput giving the Griffins a 4 minute powerplay, but they were unable to cash in. Shots on goal: GR 22 - LE 8.
Grand Rapids on the penalty kill early in the second. great hustle by Colin Campbell to pressure the puck and clear the zone. Werenski snuck in back door and stroked a shot in over McCollum, stick side, for a 2-0 lead. Sick save by Korpisalo to scramble back and take away a point blank chance by Tangradi in the slot. Jensen throwing his weight around with a couple of big hits on a shift. Brian Lashoff in the middle of a scrum along the end boards, something set him off. Sproul drifted in from the point, picked up the puck and lasered a shot past Korpisalo to break the goose egg. Bertuzzi and Vogelhuber trying to get at each other after the buzzer. Shots on goal: GR 7 - LE 9.
Aubry looking nimble for such a big player deked his way through traffic to take the puck to the net for a great chance. The Griffins powerplay continues to be brutal and can't cash in. Grand Rapids with momentum but Ouellet whistled off for a slash putting Grand Rapids back on the penalty kill. Lashoff down on the ice in pain, eventually got to his feet and was able to wait until the puck was cleared and then make his way to the bench holding his arm. He went straight to the locker room, a big loss. Campbell aggressive on the PK really physical with Zaar at the point to force a turnover. Miele took the puck back up ice and then Sproul with another drive. Jensen turned the puck over at the line as the last man back, but McCollum stopped the breakaway. McCollum to the bench for the extra skater, but the Griffins could not generate much in the way of scoring chances. Nosek at the corner of the net just tipped Tangradi's shot wide. Lashoff was back on the Griffins bench late in the period. The Griffins ran out of time and fall 2-1 to Lake Erie. Shots on goal: GR 13 - LE 6. For the game: GR 42 - LE 23.
Tangradi - Miele - Callahan
Bertuzzi - Nosek - Zengerle
Cleary - Athanasiou - Mantha
Hoggan - Aubry - Campbell
Lashoff - Jensen
Paetsch - Sproul
Ouellet - Russo
#23 Grant - Injury
#27 Frk - Injury
#32 Hirschfeld - Seizure/Brain Surgery
Tangradi - Miele - Mantha/Zengerle
Paetsch/Mantha/Zengerle - Sproul
Bertuzzi - Athanasiou - Callahan
Ouellet - Russo
Campbell - Cleary
Lashoff - Jensen
Nosek - Aubry
Paetsch - Ouellet
The Griffins looked like they had the wind taken out of their sails early on when the Monsters scored a soft goal on their first shot on goal. Grand Rapids had several great chances, but also seemed guilty of gripping their sticks too hard and forcing plays where there weren't any. the powerplay was abysmal and a powerplay goal would have been huge in this game. At least the penalty killing looked good.
Tangradi attacked the net all night, registering 9 shots on goal and using his size around the crease. Ryan Sproul also had a great game, breaking up an odd man rush with a deft stick and adding 7 shots of his own as he was one of the few Griffins willing to shoot the puck on the powerplay.
Andreas Athanasiou was nearly invisible for most of the game, and for a player with his skills set, much more is expected.
Robbie Russo had a tough night on the point of the powerplay, having a difficult time holding the puck in and making some poor passing choices. There is a lot of room for improvement in this series, but not a lot of time to get it done.