Crunch Hold On To Top Griffins 2-1
Howard Two Goals in Seven Second Span Doom GR...
By Jason Kasiorek
A slow start killed the Griffins as Andrew Murray and Jeff Szwez took advantage of poor defensive coverage to score goals seven seconds apart. The Griffin's came on strong the last half of the game but the damage had already been done, and Popperle came up big to preserve the victory. Carl Corazzini scored his 10th of the season, GR's lone goal.
In a reversal of last nights dominating performance, the Griffins came out flat and were being run around by the Crunch. Keefe stepped up to avenge a late hit on McGrath by pummeling Sestito, but the team did not seem to get any energy from the bout. Ritola negated the Griffins first powerplay just a few seconds in with a hooking call. Kyle Quincey stopped a sure goal when he dove on a loose puck in the crease as it trickled through Howard. Hartigan went down hard along the boards and took a while to get up and skate to the bench. Andrew Murray got Syracuse on the board when he carried the puck behind the net and passed into traffic where it found its way into the net. Off the next faceoff, Szwez split the D and blew it by Howard for an easy goal to put the Crunch up 2-0. Howard was visibly upset with his defenseman on that goal. GR 5 - Syr 12.
A steady parade of penalties to the Griffins hinder their progress at coming back during the first half of the period. During the latter stages of the second period the Griffins start to find their jump and putting pressure on Popperle. Popperle covers up a loose puck in the crease and there is no whistle. Hartigan and Ritola start jamming at the goalie and shove him into the net. This of course draws everyone into a big jampile with several blows being traded back and forth. The Crunch ended up with two players in the box to GR's one, sparking the offense. The Shot differential seemed to go from even to a huge lead by GR in just the last few minutes. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Syr 5.
The third period started without Cullen on the bench, but after three nervous minutes he appeared and seemed to be none the worse for wear. The third period was all GR, a dominant 20 minutes in which they controlled every aspect of play. Corazzini finally solved Popperle on a powerplay late in the third. Ritola let a shot go that hit the post and rebounded through the crease to Carl who slammed it in to the empty net. They tried to get Howard to the bench with almost two minutes left on the clock, but could not get possession. By the time the extra attacked was out their was only 30 seconds left and the Griffins came up short. Shots on goal - GR 9 - Syr 12. For the Game: GR 15 - Tor 1.
Tardif - Helm - Cullen
Oulahen - Hartigan/Walsh - Corazzini
Ritola - McGrath - Gelech
Walsh - McGrath - Keefe
Quincey - Stafford
Ericsson - Ference
Kindl - Insana
Ritola/Cullen - Hartigan - Corazzini
Ericsson - Insana
Tardif - Cullen - Helm
Quincey - Stafford
Tardif - Oulahen
Ericsson - Stafford
Hartigan - Gelech
Another slow start - If they would have played the first half like they did the second they would have destroyed Syracuse.
Darren Helm had a good night, very noticeable, especially on the penalty kill.
Ritola had 4 shots and took the puck to the net. He seems to be developing some chemistry with Corazzini.
Jakub Kindle had a very good game (comparitively speaking). He showed off some good hustle and an extra gear speed wise that was surprising. No noticeable gaffes, and a regular shift.