Checkers Steamroll Griffins 5-0|
Flat effort leads to embarrassing home loss...
By Jason Kasiorek
October 25, 2013
The visiting Charlotte Checkers scored early and often, taking advantage of a flat effort by the Grand Rapids Griffins. Special teams played a large part in the loss as Charlotte went 3-4 with the man advantage, while the home team went scoreless in four chances. Starter Petr Mrazek was sent to the bench to start the second period after surrendering two goals on twelve shots, but his backup, McCollum, did not fare much better. The Griffins dropped their third straight game falling to the bottom of the standings in the Midwest Division.
Grand Rapids came out flat and spent most of the period chasing the Checkers around in their own end. Evans rubbed out Terry along the boards, leaving the Checkers forward down on the ice for awhile. The Griffins were unable to capitalize on back to back powerplays, despite several dangerous chances. Charlotte however, took advantage of their first opportunity. Mrazek couldn't get over to the other side fast enough to stop Flood from firing a bad angle shot into the empty cage. Terry made them 2-for-2 with the man-advantage less than two minutes later when he fired a bullet from the wing that eluded a partially screened Mrazek. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Cha 12.
McCollum started the second period in favor of Mrazek. Jurco and Frk showing some flash with a couple of scoring chances. Great shift by Frk, who generated a dangerous chance in the slot, then picked up his own rebound, circled the net and had another chance. Rask took the wind out of the Griffins' sails when his drive bounced past McCollum stick-side. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Cha 14.
Woods put the Checkers up by four on a 2-on-1 where the centering pass went in off Sproul's skate. Boychuk capped the scoring late in the third when he cut through the middle and ripped a shot from between the circles over McCollum. Shortly thereafter, Aubry went after Dolan and gave him a beating in a very one sided brawl. Mercifully, time ran out, leaving the Griffins on the wrong side of a 5-0 whitewash at the hands of the Charlotte Checkers. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Cha 9. For the Game: GR 30 - Cha 35.
Nestrasil - Emmerton - Pulkkinen
Hoggan - Glendening - Ferraro
Jurco - Jarnkrok - Frk
Grant - #22 Aubry - Callahan
Marchenko - Evans
Paetsch - Ouellet
Almquist - Sproul
Nyquist - Injured
Sheahan - Flu
Hoggan - Emmerton - Pulkkinen
Paetsch - Sproul
Nestrasil/Glendening - Jarnkrok - Jurco
Ferraro - Almquist
Hoggan - Jarnkrok - Frk
Nestrasil - Callahan
Evans - Marchenko
Emmerton - Ferraro/Jarnkrok
Paetsch - Ouellet
Sluggish would not a strong enough word to describe the Griffins play tonight. They did not look like they had any life and Charlotte took it to them most of the game. Things did not start well as indicated by the disparity in the shots on goal prior to the first Griffins powerplay, which were 1-8 in favor of the Checkers.
It is tough to single anybody out in either direction after this stinker, but there were a few Griffins who tried to answer the bell.
Andrej Nestrasil was involved all night and had a couple of nice scoring chances. On the whole, he used his big frame and went to the net.
Mitch Callahan was working hard and created a couple of good scoring chances from the fourth line. The gritty winger was also involved physically, banging, fighting for position, and sticking his nose into the scrums.
Frk and Jurco both had some flashes but could not get the puck past Muse.
Mrazek while not awful, has not been as strong as he was last season, partially due to the time he sat on the bench in Detroit.
For a player who has been in the NHL the last few seasons, Cory Emmerton, did not look very engaged or show much of a compete level. While his style has always been less flamboyant, he really looked like he was going through the motions last night.
Louis-Marc Aubry got into his first game of the season, and was not very noticeable until his fight late in the game. It will probably take him awhile to get back up to game speed, but with his size and skill, he should be more of an impact player.