Marlies Manhandle Griffins 4-0|
Another Bad Outing by Liv Causes Concern...
By Jason Kasiorek
It was a tale of two goalies, at one end Justin Pogge who stopped 49 Griffins' shots, and at the end, Stefan Liv who had his third consecutive poor outing giving up 3 goals on 22 shots including the last straw; a 50 footer from outside the blueline that beat him cleanly high stick side. Mercifully Howard came in in relief at this point to stop the bleeding but it was too little too late.
The game started out with the trademark Griffins full court press into the opposition zone, generating several quality scoring chances. The team was very tight defensively, blocking shots and hardly allowing the Marlies to test Liv. Great play by Langfeld to set the table for Ellis, but it just bounced over his stick. Toronto finally got a good scoring chance at the end of a Griffins powerplay, but Liv stopped a breakaway. The Marlies turned up the physical game, throwing some punishing hits. Bootland took one and didn't get back up for awhile. When he did he looked to be in pain, but didn't miss his next shift. Ellis picked up a drop pass by Langfeld and drilled a shot into Pogge that just about trickled in. Shots on Goal GR 16 - Toronto 10.
Toronto got on the board just past the 4 minute mark in the 2nd on the powerplay when Williams snapped a shot from the circle that beat a lunging Liv stick-side. Grand Rapids back to the box for another Marlies powerplay. All hell broke loose next to the Griffins net when liv made a save way out to the side of the net and drew a crowd. Somebody started pushing and shoving and suddenly it was a big jampile with everybody trying to get each other. Ericsson and Murphy went to the box, but it could have easily been more. The Marlies have gained momentum and are really taking it to the Griffins. Great chance by Oulehen at the side of the net, but Pogge denied him.
Liv came way out of the net on a 2 on 1, stopping the shooter but providing a juicy rebound right onto the stick of Englehart for an easy open net score. Bootland got the beatdown from Moro, ending up on his back. Just over a minute later Liv gave up a fifty footer from outside the blueline, beating him cleanly high, stick-side. Luckily this goal brought the hook, and Howard came in to take over. Jimmy made a flurry of saves to close the period. Shots on goal GR 19 - Tor 14.
The Griffins couldn't get much going in the early stages of the 3rd, as Toronto controlled play. Oulahen was getting some attention from trainer Rob Snitzer on the bench, his upper left arm getting taped. The offials have really turned a blind eye on the Marlies thuggery. McGrath and Oulahen are getting a lot of ice time in the third. Coach Ieland, Irate about the glaring missed calls is very animated behind the bench.Jimmy Howard to the bench with 2 and a half minutes on the clock. The Marlies finally take a penalty making it a 6 on 4. Quincey breaks his stick on a point shot, and the Marlies converge on him taking the puck and scoring an empty netter 4-0. Toronto would just miss another empty netter as time wound down. Shots on goal GR 14 - Tor 6. For the Game GR 49 - Tor 30.
Hussey - Ellis/McGrath - Bootland
Oulahen - Himelfarb - Kolanos
Brooks - Miller - Langfeld
Barney - mcGrath - Langfeld/Oulahen
Quincey - Meech
Smith - Syvret
Galvin - Ericsson
Starter - Liv
Backup - Howard
Miller - Ellis - Langfeld
Quincey - Syvret
McGrath - Kolanos - Barney
Smith - Ericsson
Langfeld - Ellis
Smith - Meech
Oulahen - Bootland
Quincey - Ericsson
Hussey - Brooks
3 Tor Williams
2 Tor Newbury
1 Tor Pogge
Not many I can print tonight. Liv was awful yet again. He really needs some work on his positioning and composure. he may have great reflexes, but he is being eaten alive by bad fundamentals. Hopefully with three straight bad starts, we will see Howard more often. I wonder whether he will be able to work himself into shape in GR or whether Liv will switch with Koopmans and get some work in Toledo (ECHL)
Derek meech took another step forward and has apparently gained the confidence to lug the puck up ice and through traffic on his own. In the past he has done it sporadically, and tonight he had several good rushes, and actually set up scoring chances in the zone, not just shot it or gave it away.
I think the boys will take a mulligan on this one, and hopefully things will be back on track tomorrow against Philadelphia.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.