Admirals Shell Griffins 8-1 in Matinee Contest|
Record Setting Loss on Home Ice in Penalty Filled Game...
By Jason Kasiorek
The home Grand Rapids Griffins put on one of their worst performances in over a decade by tying a club record by giving up 8 goals in a game. The club also set a record with its largest margin of defeat at home beating the old record of seven. Brock Radunske scored his first of the season for the Griffins in the loss.
Grand Rapids jumped out to good start, with Keller on the rush setting up a good scoring chance in the first minute. The pace was fast and both teams exhibited a lot of intensity. Great lead pass by Miller to a streaking Radunske for a chance in front that led to a goalmouth collision with Milwaukee¹s Goehring. A Milwaukee defenseman took exception and dropped the gloves, which was nothing more than a wrestling match with Radunske. Brock got the extra 2 minutes, setting up a Milwaukee powerplay. Former Griffin Sheldon Brookbank made a nice pass to Radulov in the circle who shot it into the open side of the net with Liv too far out. Shots on goal: 7 GR 9 Milwaukee.
Grand Rapids came out in the second driving and crashing the net literally. That seemed to be a theme throughout the night starting with the team¹s mascot Griff crashing his ATV into the net during the pre-game show, and through several GR goaltender interference penalties. Norton took a slashing penalty on the PK leading to a 5-on-3 PP for the Admirals, and starting a seemingly never ending stream of Griffins to the box; 4 straight GR penalties. A big hit by towering defender Ericsson that looked to be knee on knee, laid out Segal. It also brought retribution from Klein who immediately dropped the gloves and grabbed Ericsson. Jonathan took several blows early on but then gave some back in pretty long bout. He was then given the gate for not having his sweater tied down, leaving GR short a defenseman.
On the ensuing Griffins powerplay Milwaukee got the puck and rushed in on Liv. A cross-ice feed to Brookbank caught Liv to far out again for an easy open net stick-side score. The admirals are making it very clear on every possession in the Grand Rapids end that they are trying the same play because Liv is vulnerable. Norton negates a Griffins powerplay with a tripping penalty. Peverly cashes in on a feed from Radulov, same play same result; Griffins now down 3-0. Less than 2 minutes later, Radunske puts Grand Rapids on the board as the late man on the play, picking up the rebound of a Campbell shot and snapping the puck home low, glove side. The joy was shortlived however as Brookbank notched his second of the game, stroking in a shot from the circle past a diving Liv, glove side. Ugly goal. Shots on goal: 9 GR 16 Milwaukee.
The wheels came off the rest of the way in third as the team looked way out of sync with each other and couldn¹t get anything going. The team defensive play which was already in tough shape in the second, disappeared in the third. Howard started the Period in relief of Liv, but fared no better. Just 2 minutes in Koistinen made a move, froze Jimmy, and beat him five-hole for Milwaukee¹s fifth goal. Milwaukee made it 6-1 around the 8 minute mark when O¹Reilly streaked in, beat a GR defender, and walked in on Howard chipping the puck in high, glove side. Four minutes later on the PP Milaukee scored again when a shot from the edge of the circle through traffic beat Howard, high-stick side. Jimmy didn¹t react, so he probably didn¹t see it. Barney had a nice break and rang a high shot off Goehring¹s mask and into the netting. Norton negated another Griffins powerplay with a tripping call, and then argues and draws another twelve minutes in penalties. On the ensuing powerplay, Guerriero makes a cross-ice pass to Klein who taps it in backdoor for the Admiral¹s eighth score of the day. Another scrum breaks out in the corner as tempers flare. After that is broken up, Smith and Brookbank go after the faceoff, but it is more of a wrestling match than a fight. A few moments later Guerriero challenges McGrath and they both drop the gloves. McGrath stunned Guerriero with a Haymaker that rocked him. McGrath then took a few shot before closing out with a flurry of his own before the bout was over. GR bench looking pretty empty at this point with just 6 players left on it plus Liv. Mercifully the game ends. Shots on goal: GR 10 Mil 6. For the game: GR 26 Mil 31.
Radunske/Kolanos Miller Keller
Hussey/Barney Ellis Brooks
Oulahen McGrath Barney/Kolanos
Hussey #34 Campbell Kolanos
Radunske Campbell Keller/Brooks
Hussey McGrath Miller
Norton McGrath Campbell
Hussey Ellis Miller
Norton Miller Kolanos
Kolanos Miller Brooks
Where do I start? This game was abysmal al the way around. There was almost no offense generated, and not even many quality chances. This team needs to get it together and fix some of the loose ends that are unraveling:
Goaltending: Stefan Liv is struggling, the team seems to give up when he starts letting the stinkers in. Howard has to stand up and regain some of his swagger and be "the man"
Offense: whether it is because of injuries or recalls or whatever, it has been painfully clear that this team does not have any real "finishers". It is a playoff team full of grinders and clutch scorers that bring grit. They spend the whole game creating turnovers, but no one goes to the net and buries them. In simpler terms a shooter much like MacLean or Picard in the past is needed fast.
Team effort: The team does not seem to be on the same page from night to night, and there are far too many passengers. Most notable Scott Barney, but he could be closely followed by the injured Himelfarb and to a lesser extent Oulahen and even Bootland.
Leadership: The "big game" players need to step up. Krys Kolanos has 11 quiet points in 16 games and floats as often as he doesn¹t. There are several guys that need to look at Miller and Langfeld and realize they are leaders on this team and lead by example.
This is not a sinking ship, but a wakeup call is in order for this roster.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.