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Howard Wins Battle of Netminders 5-4
MacIntyre Falls in Shootout...
By Jason Kasiorek

With a little help from his friends, Jimmy Howard won the much anticipated battle with former batterymate Drew MacIntyre. Howard had 40 saves during the game and 4 more during the shootout for the victory. Kip Miller had 2 goals, an assist and the game winning shootout goal, while Langfeld and Brooks added goals.

Manitoba turned the tables on the Griffins, jumping out early and putting pressure on Howard with a flurry of shots. Great shorthanded break by Hussey and Ellis but Drew made the stop. Howard stopped a shot from the point and got his feet tangled up so he was unable to get over for the rebound. Moran shot it into the open side of the net to put the Moose up 1-0. Manitoba stunned the GR crowd with its second powerplay goal of the game just a few minutes later when the Griffins couldn't clear the zone and Howard and Dan Smith got tangled up in the crease. Manitoba's Nathan Smith shot it over the top of both of them and into the net. Langfeld got Grand Rapids back on the board about a minute and a half later when he snuck a shot behind MacIntyre from a bad angle parallel to the goal line. Shots on goal GR 9 - Man 15.

Bootland had a great break, baiting MacIntyre out of the net and making a slick move to take the puck away for a shot on an open net. Miller snapped a shot from he circle that bulged the twine behind Mac, high-glove side to tie the game at 2. Four minutes later the Moose went back out in front when Hansen sent a riser through traffic that fooled Howard mid-stick side. Grand Rapids is going to give this game away if they don't start staying out of the box. Brooks knotted the score at three on a shorthanded break, wristing a bullet high-stick side. Ellis and Prestin Ryan dropped the gloves during a scrum in front, but were separated before coming to blows. Shots on goal GR 9 - Man 12.

The moose scored its 4th powerplay goal of the night 3:34 into the third when Jaffrey shot through traffic and the puck redirected into the net past Jimmy stick side. Derek Meech saved a sure 5th PP goal when he made a goalline stop and cleared the puck out of the zone. Kevin Miller tied the game at 4 all when he converted the rebound of a Danny Syvret shot, one-timing past Mac glove side for his second of the game. GR picked up the intensity the last half of the third, and really put pressure on Manitoba. Hussey crashed the net and knocked it off the pegs, but the puck was not in. Shots on goal GR 14 - Man 14.

Hussey went to the box with 4 1/2 left in OT setting up a series of 4-3's, 3-on-3's, and even a 5-on-3 during the OT with no one able to gain an advantage. Shots on goal GR 1 Manitoba 3, For the game GR 33 - Manitoba 44.

The Shootout Moran was the first shooter for Manitoba, and he was denied by Howard with a leg pad save. Keller went for the Griffins and he roofed it over the net. 0-0 Reid went next for the Moose and didn't get a shot off as the puck rolled away. Josh Langfeld made a slick move, deking and scoring glove side. Jaffrey shot low but Howard again flashed the leg pad for an easy stop. Kip Miller beat MacIntyre 5-hole with the eventual game winner. Schultz made itclose by beating Howard low glove side with a quick wrister. Kolanos cut in on Howard from the side and shot the puck wide of the net. Manitoba's last shooter was Mike Keane ho rang a shot off the bar and into the air, Griffins Win.

Miller - Kolanos/Keller - Langfeld
Hussey - Ellis/McGrath - Bootland
Oulahen - Hussey/Barney - Brooks
(lots of special team play, so the lines were juggled)

Syvret - Smith
Quincey - Meech
Ericsson - Galvin

Starter: Howard
Backup: Liv

Himelfarb - Injured

Miller - Ellis - Langfeld
Quincey - Syvret

Kolanos - McGrath - Barney/Bootland
Ericsson - Keller

Hussey - Ellis
Smith - Meech

Oulahen - Langfeld
Quincey - Ericsson

Three Stars:
3 Man Moran
2 GR Langfeld
1 GR Miller

Observations: Manitoba gave the Griffins a much better effort than yesterday, but the Griffins refused to die, and kept coming back until finally winning in the shootout.

Not to sound like a broken record, but Derek Meech played a whale of a game. He was blocking shots, throwing big hits, and moving the puck with authority. It seemed like everytime he was on the ice he made a big play that really cased me to notice him.

Howard played a good game, but owes a big thanks to his goal posts and crossbar, which made as many saves as he did at times.

Kip Miller had a lot of jump this evening, beating opponents to the puck, and blazing his way into the offensive zone for scoring chances.

Click here for the Official Scoresheet.