Griffins, Callahan Crush Admirals 5-0|
Gritty winger's hat trick highlights rout...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 20th, 2013
Mitch Callahan made the most of his minutes, notching a hat trick to lead the Grand Rapids Griffins over the visiting Milwaukee Admirals. The ice was tilted in the Griffins favor all night, as they carried play for most of the game. The Admirals did not even register their first shot on goal until late in the first period and only mustered 16 for the game. Riley Sheahan (3) and Cory Emmerton (2) each added a powerplay goal to the effort and one of Callahan's markers was shorthanded. Petr Mrazek stopped all 16 shots he saw to pick up his first AHL shutout of the season.
The first period was all GR, to the point of ridiculousness, with the admirals not even getting a scoring chance until later in the period. The highlight of the period was Callahan taking exception to Tousignant and dropping the gloves. Cally got in several blows, before, during, and after putting the Admirals forward to the ice. Hellberg was at the top of his game to keep it scoreless through one. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Mil 4.
Sheahan opened the scoring early in the second on the powerplay when he skated in from the circle and lifted a shot over Hellberg, stick side. Gleason Fournier smoked a Milwaukee player with a clean but hard open ice hit and drew some extra attention. Griffins 3-on-1 in close on Hellberg, but Glendening booted the puck off the heel of his stick. Callahan scored his first of the game midway through the second. Hellberg made the initial save but Callahan followed up and poked at it, knocking it loose and between Hellberg's pads for a shorthanded goal. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Mil 8.
Emmerton upped the score to 3-0 when he took a nice feed from Eaves and blew it between Hellberg's legs for a powerplay marker. Grant and Ford dropped the gloves and traded blows for quite a while in a pretty even heavyweight bout in the corner. Callahan notched his 7th of the season midway through the third, redirecting a Sheahan shot and sneaking it through short side. That was all for Hellberg who went to the bench in favor of Scott Darling. Callahan capped the hat trick and finished off the scoring late in the third. McIntyre batted a rebound out of mid-air that looked like it might go in, but Callahan reached in and poked it out of the air and behind Darling for his 8th of the campaign. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Mil 4. For the Game: GR 43 - Mil 16.
Tootoo - Glendening - Ferraro
#9 Eaves - Emmerton - Jurco
Pulkkinen - Jarnkrok - Sheahan
Grant - McIntyre - Callahan
Paetsch - Almquist
Fournier - Sproul
Ouellet - Marchenko
Eaves - Emmerton - Jurco
Marchenko - Almquist
Pulkkinen - Sheahan - Ferraro
Paetsch - Sproul
Emmerton - Sheahan
Fournier - Marchenko
Glendening - Callahan
Paetsch - Ouellet
It is tempting to sing the team's praises after such a dominant win, but a large share of the credit has to go to Milwaukee who did not appear to be at the top of their game.
Mitch Callahan, who is a frequent target for kudos on this site, continues to have a breakout season. He has been a different player since about the halfway point last season and is really staking his claim as a go to guy on this team. With last night's hat trick, he has 8 goals on the season, second best on the team, despite not seeing powerplay time, and playing limited minutes on the fourth line. He plays in crucial situations and is one of the clubs top penalty killers. Most of his goals are the direct result of hard work, second effort, and not being afraid to get his nose dirty around the net.
Jordan Tootoo was under the Admirals skin for most of the night, and took some punishment as a result.
Eaves had a tough first shift, but then looked very comfortable the rest of the way. He had several nice scoring chances and was involved around the net.
Captain Jeff Hoggan and Alternate Brennan Evans were the first scratches as part of coach blashill's rotation plan, marking the first games either had missed as a Griffin. Glendening and Grant wore A's along with Paetsch.