Griffins Put Barracuda On The Ropes With 6-2 Win
Offensive explosion in the second keys game four victory...
By Jason Kasiorek
May 26, 2017
The Grand Rapids Griffins exploded for four unanswered goals in the second period to stun the visiting San Jose Barracuda en route to a 6-2 win. and a 3-1 series lead. A dominant performance from power forward Eric Tangradi (3 points) led the way, but Grand Rapids also got tallies from Tomas Nosek (7), Tyler Bertuzzi (6), Martin Frk (3), Ben Street (4) and Evgeny Svechnikov (4). Jared Coreau turned in a monster performance, stopping 26 of 28 shots and stopping everything eh faced except a penalty shot and powerplay goal. Special teams also played a big role in the victory as the Griffins notched two man-advantage markers in 8 chances and killed off 5 of 6 powerplays by the Barracuda.
Griffins with a lot of jump right off the opening faceoff. Mitch Callahan with a shot from the circle and then Eric Tangradi just fanned on the rebound in the slot. Griffins on the first of many powerplays, Ben Street put a big shot on net and Matt Ford in front tried to tip it past Grosenick but could not. Big blocked shot right in front of Coreau by Nathan Paetsch and the puck was cleared down the ice. Blackwell got behind the Griffins defense as the penalty expired and went in alone on Coreau, but was pulled down by Tangradi. A penalty shot was awarded and Blackwell scored, freezing Coreau and then snapping a shot in low, glove side for a 1-0 lead. Dominic Turgeon broke up a nice scoring chance on the PK, blocking a shot that left him limping to the bench. Shots on goal: GR 10 - SJ 8.
Tomas Nosek with a nice chance, got behind the defense and cut towards the net, but was interfered with just enough to draw a penalty. Tangradi put a long shot on net that hit Kyle Criscuolo in front, Criscuolo fed Bertuzzi at the opposite side of the net and he buried a shot before Grosenick could slide all the way over. Bertuzzi destroyed Bergman with a thundering check along the end boards. San Jose tried to return the favor with a hit on Hicketts, but the sturdy blueliner shrugged it off and kept going. Tangradi put the Griffins ahead on a great individual effort, fighting off a check in the corner and then carrying the puck out one handed through traffic to the front f the net and blowing it past Grosenick. Turgeon had a point blank chance in front and was then high-sticked, setting up another Griffins man-advantage. Frk blasted a shot cannon right up the middle that hit Grosenick in the mask with an audible snap. Tangradi along the wall fought through a check and hit Nosek in front. Nosek chipped it in top shelf for a powerplay goal. Late in the period Nosek found Frk all alone and he broke in on Grosenick from center ice, snapping a laser low, glove side for a 4-1 lead. Carpenter, cleary frustrated, chased Ford across the ice and then chopped him down with a wicked cross check and touching off a grappling match with Ford. Griffins carried play for almost the entire period as San Jose grew more and more frustrated and began taking dumb penalties. Shots on goal: GR 19 - SJ 5.
Helewka pulled San Jose back to within two, notching a powerplay marker early in the third. The griffins answered right back however, as Street flew down the wing, curled into the circle and then sniped a shot into the top corner of the net for a 5-2 lead.Third period getting rough with lots of scrums and roughing calls. Meier went after Nosek and a series of altercations broke out. Frk and McCarthy were pushing and shoving at center ice, Bertuzzi dropped the gloves and grappled with Meier and Nosek got worked over pretty good in front of the Griffins bench. Callahan and Bertuzzi were both tossed for 10 minute misconducts, effectively ending their nights. Grosenick to the bench on the ensuing powerplay for an extra skater. Helewka attacked Turgeon, and Paetsch had to go over and help. Odd play as a dump-in hit the post by Grosenick and took an odd bounce right into the slot where Evgeny Svechnikov pounced on it and roofed it to push the score to 6-2. Dan Kelly trying to draw McIlrath into a fight, finally just punched him in the face. McIlrath dropped the gloves and pummeled Kelly to the ice and then a couple more times after he was on the ice, which seemed to take a lot of the starch out of the Barracuda's sails. The Griffins take a 3-1 series lead with a convincing 6-2 win over the San Jose Barracuda. Shots on goal: GR 7 - SJ 15 For the Game: GR 36 - SJ 28.
12 forwards - 6 defense
Bertuzzi - Nosek - Frk
Tangradi - Street - Callahan
Svechnikov - Criscuolo - Lorito
Ford - Turgeon - Holmstrom
Lashoff - Russo
Paetsch - Hicketts
Renouf - McIlrath
#11 Cleary - Veteran
Ford - Nosek - Lorito
Frk - Street
Tangradi - Criscuolo/Callahan - Svechnikov
Bertuzzi - Russo
Turgeon - Campbell
Lashoff - Paetsch
Ford - Nosek
Renouf - McIlrath
The Griffins truly turned in a statement game, blitzing the Barracuda both on the scoreboard and in the physical department. The second period was as dominant a performance as this team has had all season, and the Barracuda looked very frustrated they were not able to exert their will against this team.
Eric Tangradi had another strong game, and was almost unstoppable. He used his size and strength to take the puck where he wanted to regardless of who was defending him. He is the AHL playoff leader with 13 assists and is 5th in scoring, tied with teammate Ben Street.
The line of Nosek-Bertuzzi-Frk had a bounce back game after a sub-par performance in game 3, netting 3 goals on 9 shots including the game-winner. Jared Coreau also turned in a strong performance, only giving up a penalty shot goal and a powerplay goal on 28 shots against, and really standing tall in the third during an extended 6-on -4 San Jose advantage.
I have to give a shout out to Dylan McIlrath for another solid game, and his third period beat down of Kelly added an exclamation point to the evening and seemed to cause the Barracuda to pause and stop the late hits and roughing after the whistles. Much like Brennan Evans, McIlrath does not need to fight often, but hi size and strength act more as a deterrent to keep things from getting out of hand.