The Streak Is Over as Griffins Tame Wolves 6-4|
Hard Work Keys Win...
By Jason Kasiorek
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson scored his first 2 career goals and Scott Barney potted his first of the season in leading the Griffins over the Wolves at Van Andel Arena. Grand Rapids played a dominant second period, scoring 4 straight goals, and allowing Chicago only 3 shots on goal while ringing up 19 of their own.
Grand Rapids had a nice chance early when Campbell broke in on the net, but wa stopped by Burnett. A big scrum in front after the whistle led to what was to be a familiar sight - Quincey on the bottom of the pile. Ireland was very animated on the bench, PO'ed at the extra penalty to Grand Rapids, and the lack of calls on Chicago. Hussey turned the puck over in his own zone as the last man back on the PK. Four wolves drove to the net with Larose snapping a rising shot past Howard high, stick side. Shots on Goal GR 11 - Chi 8.
Hussey made up for his earlier gaffe just over a minute into the second when his hard work on the forecheck created a turnover. He blazed in on net for a quick shot on Burnett. The puck trickled through stick side, and dribbled in to tie the score. Four and a half minutes later the puck took a GR bounce right to Syvret in the slot. Syvret swiped it past Burnett to make it 2-1. A few minutes later, on the powerplay, Ericsson turned on the jets, carried the puck end to end, split the D and scored top shelf. Later in the period, Ericsson notched his second when his blast from the blueline found its way through traffic and beat Burnett high. A big scrum broke out at the end of the second right as time expired and the lights went out. Howard was hacking and whacking, and Quincey had dropped his gloves. At one point late in the period GR had held Chicago off the shot clock, and had outshot them on their own powerplay. Shots on goal GR 19 - Chi 3.
The Griffins made it 5-1 a minute into the third when Miller found Bootland in front with a nice pass from the corner. Booter buried it low, glove side for a powerplay goal. Langfeld took a puck in the face by the bench, and after a few minutes on his knees, left the ice, not to return. Chicago scored about 5 minutes later when Stuart snuck the puck between Howards legs on a wraparound. At the 12:27 mark the Wolves began their comeback in earnest when McKenzie beat Insana and dished to Wanvig streaking into the slot, and roofing the puck to cut the margin to 2. A few seconds later McGrath and Meech switched off behind the net, allowing a centering pass that was tapped in backdoor by Doell. Three minutes later Barney put the nail in the coffin on Chicago When he tipped a Derek meech point shot past Burnett. Chicago pulled the netminder with about 2 minutes on the clock, but could not get anything going. A big fight broke out at the end when Larose suckered Quincey, knocking him unconscious and earning a Match penalty. Quincey laid motionless on the ice for quite a while after the melee and was pretty shaky when he was helped off the ice. Shots on goal GR 12 - Chi 13. For the game: GR 42 - Chi 24.
Oulahen - Himelfarb - Brooks
Hussey - Ellis - Campbell
Langfeld/Oulahen - Miller - Bootland
Ellis/Hussey - McGrath - Barney
Syvret - Meech
Smith - Quincey
Insana - Ericsson
Langfeld - Miller - Bootland
Hussey - Ericsson
Ellis - Himelfarb - Brooks
Syvret - Meech
Barney - McGrath - Campbell
Smith - Quincey
Ellis - Bootland
Smith - Meech
Langfeld - Himelfarb
Ericsson - Syvret
Hussey - Campbell/Ellis
Galvin - Injured
Kolanos - No longer with team
3 Chi Doell
2 GR Langfeld
1 GR Ericsson
The return of Eric Himelfarb was greatly noticed. Not only did he provide some spark and energy, but he had a great night in the circle, an area that was killing the team during its losing streak.
Kyle Quincey was very ill-tempered, pushing and shoving after the whistle, and engaged in all sorts of extra cariculars. It's too bad that his night had to end as the victim of an uncalled for cheap shot.
The Grand Rapids penalty killers were on top of things for the first time in awhile, allowing only one goal in 5 chances. Another nice thing is that they didn't have a lot of work as the Griffins did a good job of staying out of the box.
Nice breakout game by Ericsson who has looked good all season, but was able to put things together offensively tonight.
Matt Ellis was on his game this evening, buzzing around the net, creating chances, and driving the wolves nuts with his dogged forechecking.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.