Call It A Comeback - Griffins Maul Monsters With Five Goal Third Period
Nosek caps improbable comeback...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 25, 2016
The Griffins dug themselves into quite a hole, trailing by three at the end of the second to the visiting Cleveland Monsters. The team dug deep after a tough second period and rallied back, scoring 5 straight goals to top the Monsters 5-3. Besides Nosek's game-winner, the club also got tallies from Bryan Lashoff, Martin Frk, Kyle Criscuolo and an empty netter from Mitch Callahan. Eddie Pasquale, making his 1st start of the season at Van Andel arena, turned aside 23 shots for his second win.
Joe Hicketts smoked Milano with a clean hit at the line that sent him sprawling. Cleveland with a break, but Jensen got back enough to interfere with the puck carrier and break up the scoring chance. He was rewarded for his efforts with a trip to the box. Mitch Callahan battling in front of the net, jockeying for position and trying to tip pucks through. Matt Ford with a great chance right at the edge of the paint off the face-off. Martin Frk ripped a big shot off the post on the PP. Hicketts, last man back, turned over the puck for a breakaway by Milano, but he fired it wide. Frk with a big hit on Ramage behind the net. Shots on goal: GR 13 - Cle 7.
Callahan sprung Street for a chance, but he fired the puck into Forsberg's chest. Frk with a blast from the circle that Forsberg was not sure about and looked behind him to see if it had gotten through. Nathan Paetsch and Joe Hicketts closed the door on a Monsters forward that tried to split the defense - and lost. Nosek to Street in the slot for a blast. Traffic in front of the Grand Rapids net and Gallant got his own rebound and lifted it over Pasquale for a 1-0 lead. Maletta made contact with Pasquale in the crease, leading to a stoppage in play, but no penalty. Bad break for the Griffins when Bjorkstrand's centering pass hit Pasquale's goal stick and redirected into the net, to make the score 2-0. The Griffins got two or three solid chances in a row, but couldn't get the puck into the net. Moutrey got behind the defense for a dangerous chance, but missed the net. Hicketts lost the puck and another Monsters breakaway ensued, Bjorkstrand made a nice move to freeze the goalie and drag the puck around his foot before sliding it into the net to push the lead to 3-0. Shots on goal: GR 12 - Cle 13.
Monsters scoring chance and the puck lay in the crease behind Pasquale for quite a while before the netminder realized he didn't have it. Beautiful passing play by Grand Rapids and Lashoff came late to slide the puck in past Forsberg to break the goose egg and start the avalanche of teddy bears. Callahan with speed for a nice scoring chance up the middle. Ford great work on the forecheck using his size to really frustrate Cleveland. Marty Frk tipped a Dan Renouf point shot out of mid-air to cut the lead to one.
Steal by Tomas Jurco and Callahan hit street for a chance in front. Grand Rapids pelting Forsberg with a flurry of scoring chances, then the pressure caused Cleveland to take a penalty. After some solid chances from the first unit, the second unit was having some troubles getting set up in the zone and kept have to chase back into their own end. Callahan up the middle found a seam and had two shots on Forsberg from the high slot.
The Griffins are outshooting Cleveland 14-2 and really carrying the play. Frk got taken down in the crease and Criscuolo batted a puck into the open side of the net to knot the score at three. Forsberg blew a gasket, contending that the Griffins forward on the ice had impeded him. The play was reviewed but it was allowed to stand and the Monsters were clearly not happy with the call. Nosek in the box for slashing but the Griffins penalty killers came up big and kept the score tied. Special teams made the difference again as Nosek took a pass at the edge of the crease and poked it through Forsberg for a powerplay goal and the first lead of the game.
Forsberg to the bench for an extra attacker with the Monsters trying to tie things up. Cleveland thought they had tied things up when a puck beat Pasquale but hit the post and stayed out. Callahan doing a good job of battling at the Griffins line, giving the Monsters no easy path into the zone. The veteran winger fired the puck the length of the ice and into the empty net to cap the scoring at 5-3. After the goal, the official reviewed the Monsters near miss, and ruled it was no goal. Paetsch preserved the win in the dying seconds with a great diving defensive play. Shots on goal: GR 23 - Cle 6. For the game: GR 48 - Cle 26.
Svechnikov - Aubry - Campbell
Callahan - Street - #13 Jurco/Ford
Frk - Nosek- Lorito
Criscuolo - Turgeon - Ford
Renouf - Russo
Lashoff - Jensen
Paetsch - Hicketts
Starter: #40 Pasquale
#11 Cleary - Veteran
#26 Tangradi - Hand
Callahan - Nosek - Lorito
Frk - Street
Ford - Criscuolo - Jurco
Hicketts - Russo
Aubry - Campbell
Lashoff - Jensen
Nosek/Ford - Street
Paetsch - Renouf
What a comeback! After a decent first period, the Griffins looked disorganized in the second and paid a price, giving up three unanswered goals. Whatever was said in the room between the last two periods must have worked as GR looked like a completely different team in the third and just came at Cleveland in waves.
Jurco had a lot of jump in the game and I was impressed with his foot speed, as he looked very quick. His timing didn't look as good as the last time we saw him on a rehab stint last season, and he probably still has a bit to go before he feels comfortable. The one thing I can say is that at least at this level, he is capable of making jaw dropping plays that few can. Several times he set up teammates for scoring chances, but they could not believe he got the puck to them and couldn't make a play.
Perhaps by virtue of his linemates, but Dominic Turgeon played as good a game as he has this season. He was noticeable a couple of times in the offensive zone, and used his size at the line to fight his way through a check. He plays a solid defensive game, but needs to keep building on his intensity and impact.