Jurco's Hat Trick Keys Seven Goal Explosion over Gulls|
Slovakian Sniper score four points in second game of conditioning stint...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 20th, 2015
The additions of Tomas Jurco and Andreas Athanasiou from the parent Red Wings paid immediate dividends as the pair combined for 4 goals and 3 assists in a 7-4 shellacking of the visiting San Diego Gulls. The Griffins jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the first on goals by Sproul (2), Jurco (1) and Mitch Callahan (2). San Diego fought back a couple of times before Jurco added two powerplay tallies, bookending both sides of a double minor to Shane O'Brien late in the third. Grand Rapids also got a goal from Eric Tangradi (4), playing on a line with Jurco and Athanasiou. Netminder Jared Coreau added his second straight victory and his 4th of the season making 31 saves.
Griffins powerplay early and Sproul ripped a big shot off the face-off that beat Gibson stick side and blistered the paint on the goalpost. O'Brien boarded Hoggan and Aubry came over for some pushing and shoving. On the powerplay, Athanasiou went cross ice to Jurco in the circle and he stroked a shot in over Gibson for his first of the season. About a minute later, Sproul connected again from the opposite side with a huge point blast that Callahan tipped in front for a three goal lead. The Gulls got one back late in the period on the powerplay when Friberg fired a bouncing shot past a screened Coreau. Aubry stole the puck in front and had a couple of pops at Gibson. Three-on-one, Mantha, Callahan and Athanasiou, executed a tic-tac-toe passing play with Athanasiou scoring five hole to make it 4-1. Shots on goal: GR 13 - San 9.
Mantha in alone on Gibson and ripped a shot that the netminder had to look behind him to make sure he stopped it. San Diego really pushing the pace in the second. Coreau made a stop, but Russo overskated the rebound and Cramarossa picked it up on the doorstep for an easy goal. Great movement by Grand Rapids on the powerplay, but they couldn't extend the lead. Nosek and Bailey pushing and shoving behind the play. Shots on goal: GR 9 - San 16.
Jurco threaded a pass through traffic to Tangradi at the edge of the paint. Tangradi batted it in as Gibson flailed at it. Midway through the third, Montour beat Coreau from just inside the blue line to pull San Diego within two. San Diego cut the lead to one when Coreau was down on the ice scrambling in a pile of players and the puck went off Sproul and into the net. The play was reviewed but allowed to stand. Ouellette smoked a Gulls player angling towards the net and he stayed down for awhile. Bickell dropped the gloves and pummeled an unwilling Anthony Mantha. The Griffins starting to gain momentum, putting a lot of rubber on Gibson. Nice chance by Campbell who made a surprising little move to turn a routine clear into a dangerous scoring chance. Athanasiou drew a penalty with his hustle by the net. O'Brien argued and ended up with a double minor. On the ensuing powerplay, Athanasiou gained the zone with speed, curled into the circle and then hit Jurco coming late in the slot. Jurco bulged the twine behind Gibson for his second of the night. He completed the hat trick less than a minute later when he picked a rebound in front of the net and fired it past a sprawling Gibson. Hats rained down on the ice in celebration and the Griffins wrapped up a 7-4 win. Shots on goal: GR 18 - San 10. For the game: GR 40 - San 35.
Callahan - Miele - Mantha
Tangradi - #12 Athanasiou - Jurco
#11 Cleary - Nosek - Campbell
Hoggan - Aubry - Nastasiuk
Paetsch - Jensen
Ouellet - Russo
Lashoff - Sproul
#23 Grant - Injured
Callahan - Athanasiou - Jurco
Ouellet - Sproul
Tangradi - Miele - Mantha
Paetsch - Russo
Cleary - Campbell
Paetsch - Jensen
Nosek - Aubry
Ouellet - Lashoff
The Griffins had a very good game, easily their best of the season. the biggest difference is they were up on their toes skating, using their speed to create gaps and move the puck through the gaps to scoring chances. I hope this will continue to build going forward.
Jurco and Athanasiou looked like NHL'ers playing in the AHL and were dominant forces, especially Jurco who had the puck on a string.
It was a solid effort pretty much up and down the lineup. Another player who really stood out was Aubry who was a force at both ends of the ice and was flying tonight.
It was also nice to Sproul unleash his cannon of a shot on the powerplay several times. he was only credited with 4 shots, but several were blocked on the way to the net and made for some very wary shot blockers for San Diego.