Skid Continues as Griffins Fall to Rivermen 3-1|
Depleted Lineup Falls Short...
By Jason Kasiorek
Grand Rapids could not hang on long enough to get by Peoria despite a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes. A three goal third period for the Rivermen buried Grand Rapids for its seventh consecutive loss. Kris Kolanos had the only goal for GR, and Jimmy Howard made 31 saves.
The Griffins came out fairly good in the first and played well enough to keep the rivermen off the scoresheet. GR took the lead with a goal at 13:48 when Kolanos curled in off the wing and put a wicked wrister on net that got past Schwartz, low - stick side. Shots on goal GR 11 - Peoria 13.
The second saw the play become much choppier and sloppy especially late in the period. The Griffins really sacrificed the body, blocking shots and breaking up plays, but couldn't get much going offensively. Shots on Goal GR 4 - Peoria 12.
Things got more exciting in the third, unfortunately mosty in Peoria's favor. The rivermen tied things up on the powerplay just over 2 minutes into the period. Derek Meech went down to block a shot, but the puck had already gone under him. It hit Howard and rebounded right onto the stick of Backes for a stick side slam. Just a few moments later, off the faceoff, Linglet skated through the Griffins into the corner, picked up the puck and walked right in on Howard unimpeded for a goal. The nail went into the coffin 3 minutes later when Howard stopped the initial blast, but the puck trickled past him and lay in the crease. Zakharov beat a Griffins defender to the loose puck and jammed it in. It was almost 4-0 after Norton got his pocket picked as the last man back, but Jimmy came up big. With 2:04 on the clock, Howard to the bench for the extra attacker, but the Griffins could not gain the zone to set up a play, and the last few seconds ticked off the clock. Shots on goal: GR 13 - Peoria 9. For the game: GR 28 - Peoria 34
Radunske - Kolanos - Brooks
Miller - Campbell - Keller/Kolanos
Hussey - Ellis - Brooks/Kolanos
#32 Watt - Oulahen - Barney
Hussey - Radunske - Keller
Syvret - Norton
Ericsson - Meech
Smith - Quincey
Backup: #31 Cyr
Himelfarb - Injured
Galvin - Injured
Watt - Miller - Keller
Quincey/Hussey - Campbell
Brooks - Norton - Barney
Meech - Syvret
Ellis/Watt - Oulahen
Syvret/Quincey - Norton
Hussey - brooks
Meech - Ericsson
Miller - Campbell
3 Peoria Schwartz
2 Peoria Sejna
1 Peoria Linglet
Grand Rapids played a little better in the first half of the game, but fell back into some bad habits later in the game. The penalty parade did not happen this game, which was a welcome break.
Faceoffs and Special teams - Granted alot of our normal centers are not in the lineup, but we were eaten alive in the circle tonight, and it cost us dearly. Our stone cold powerplay went 0-5 putting us into a horrible slump that is somewhere around 2 for 36 in our last stretch of games. Even worse, the team couldn't even hold the puck in the attacking zone with the man advantage on a regular bais. We were even outshot on a couple of our powerplays - not acceptable! We also gave up another powerplay goal, something that has been happening frighteningly often as of late.
It was nice to see Kolanos play with a little intensity this evening. I actually noticed him on the ice for something positive for the first time in a few weeks.
Despite the loss, Jimmy Howard was the man and stood on his head keeping shots out of his net. If not for him, this game would have been ugly. Way to rebound from a tough relief outing on tuesday.
Kyle Quincey was very noticeable, blocking shots, and did a good job moving the puck up ice. He did get burned once, but was really solid the rest of the game.
It was very telling that during Grand Rapids time out most of the players were clustered around watching the play being diagrammed, but a couple were not paying attention, but were having their own conversation. A quick look to the Peoria bench showed all the rivermen clustered around the coach. It is apparent from their play that this team is not all on the same page.
Ireland and to a lesser extent Paek were clearly frustrated behind the bench during the latter stages of the game. GI was very animated, while Paek kicked the door shut in frustration.
Matt Ellis was very noticeable in the game digging and throwing himself after the puck like a dervish. Brendan Brooks also showed some life and was working hard creating several turnovers.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.