Griffins Torpedo Admirals 4-1
Simon Edvinsson nets a pair as defense leads the way...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 1st, 2023
Blueliner Simon Edvinsson continued his strong start, scoring two goals (4,5) including the game-winner to lead the suddenly surging Grand Rapids Griffins over the visiting Milwaukee Admirals. The defense figured prominently in the scoring as Jared McIsaac scored his first of the season, and Albert Johansson added a pair of assists as well. Joel L'Esperance capped the scoring with an empty netter, his third tally of the season. Netminder Sebastien Cossa stood tall between the pipes, kicking out 25 of 36 shots to earn his 3rd win of the campaign.
Grand Rapids got off to a slow as Milwaukee applied pressure on Cossa early. A penalty to the Admirals gave GR a powerplay just past the two-minute mark. Joel L'Esperance had a breakaway, shot in on net, and roofed over the crossbar. Sebastien Cossa with a big stop at the side of the net, which led to a minor altercation between Johansson and Kemell after the whistle. Milwaukee is really driving play through most of the period, big margin in shots on goal and possession time. Jonatan Berggren carried it deep but had the puck roll off his stick before he got a scoring chance.
Cossa was forced to make a series of scrambly saves on good chances in front as GR couldn't clear the zone. As usually happens, the inability to clear eventually led to a penalty as Rafferty went to the box for tripping. Cossa with a huge stop on a point-blank shot from the high slot. Griffins regroup, and make a nice tic-tac-toe passing play to get the puck out of trouble and move it up ice and out of the zone. Carter Mazur sacrificed the body with a clutch blocked shot in the slot. Late in the period, the Griffins struck to open the scoring. Soderblom in traffic along the boards, drew the defenders to him and fired a cross-ice feed to Jared McIsaac who was all alone in the circle. McIsaac walked right in put a shot through Askarov for a 1-0 lead. Shots on goal: GR 8 - Mil 15.
Berggren was in full flight as he weaved in and out of players carrying the puck end to end. Mazur corralled a loose puck at the edge of the paint for a pop at Askarov. The griffins are putting on a shooting gallery, lighting up Askarov with shots. Simon Edvinsson had great patience to walk in from the circle and fire a shot in over Askarov's shoulder, glove side for a 2-0 lead. L'Esperance was shaken up and was slow getting to the bench, then went down to the room with the trainer. GR with a 3-on-2 with Mazur coming late as the triggerman. He fired it into Askarov's midsection for an easy save.
Milwaukee's Afanasyev went after Edvinsson along the boards, and McIsaac came right over and insinuated himself into the middle of the scrum. Griffins back to the man-advantage with Felhaber whistled off for roughing. Berggren circled the net with the puck and then fired a shot against the grain that was tipped just wide. Mazur was sprung on a partial break but was caught from behind and pushed off. GR back to the penalty kill with Edvinsson sent off for tripping. Zach Aston-Reese turned his back on Svechkov in the circle right before he stroked a shot in through Cossa for a powerplay goal. The Griffins went right back on the powerplay with Mutter off for cross-checking but turned in an abysmal showing with little pressure. William Wallinder got roughed up and took some extra abuse behind the play with no whistle. Mazur stole the puck right in front and centered, but two different Griffins went by and couldn't get a stick on it. Berggren broke in on net with speed for a glorious chance but couldn't put it in. After the horn went for the end of the period, Jankowski was trying to get at Edvinsson in the worst way. Shots on goal: GR 15 - Mil 9.
Milwaukee's Jankowski, with speed, stepped around McIsaac, but McIsaac spun and chased him down to break up the play. Cossa reached out to cover the puck and L'Heureux took a chop at his hand which drew a crowd. Amadeus Lombardi doing a good job of jumping in and out of holes to get to the puck and make little plays to advance it. L'Esperance up the middle with speed but is ridden off the puck from behind. Admirals in on a 2-on-1, Josiah Didier dove and slid across to take everything away. Nolan Stevens stole the puck and set up Soderblom in the slot for a great chance. Soderblom with good possession, carried the puck around the zone, but couldn't find anyone in front.
Edvinsson rifled a knuckler from the circle that hit Askarov and then went in off the pipe, stick side, for his second of the game and a 3-1 lead. Soderblom carrying the puck through the neutral zone had his feet pulled out from under him, with no call. The Admirals got another powerplay with Mazur called for slashing. Didier joined him in the box, setting up a 5-on-3 for 37 seconds. The PK was up to the task and killed off both penalties. Griffins 2-on-0 with Gettinger and Stevens, but Stevens was hauled down as he got the shot off and the Griffins went back to the powerplay. Gettinger in alone on Askerov, but the netminder made the stop. Milwaukee pulled the goalie for the extra attacker as time grew short. L'Esperance was sprung on a breakaway onto the empty net and scored his third of the season to ice the game at 4-1. Shots on goal: GR 6 - Mil 12. For the Game: GR 29 - Mil 36.
#12 Aston-Reese - #26 Gettinger - #11 L'Esperance
#17 Hirose - #27 Czarnik - #48 Berggren
#32 Spezia - #93 Lombardi - #43 Mazur
#20 Soderblom - #92 Kasper - #21 Stevens
#77 Edvinsson - #23 Johansson
#3 McIsaac - #25 Rafferty
#22 Wallinder - #44 Didier
Starter: #33 Cossa
Backup: #35 Hutchinson
#65 Shine - Flu
#26 Gettinger - #27 Czarnik - #48 Berggren
#17 Hirose - #77 Edvinsson
#20 Soderblom - #93 Lombardi - #11 L'Esperance
#25 Rafferty - #43 Mazur
#26 Gettinger - #12 Aston-Reese
#77 Edvinsson - #44 Didier
#32 Spezia - #27 Czarnik
#3 McIsaac - #25 Rafferty
Edvinsson another in a series of good games, he is so heads up and see the ice so well, he can be a game changer. His competitiveness has gotten better and he will battle. This bodes well for his future jump to the NHL.
Amadeus Lombardi has looked impressive as of late, after a period of time where he looked frustrated, it appears he is starting to figure out the game at the AHL level. He has been more noticeable and is finding holes to get some open ice.