Grand Rapids Griffins @ Manitoba Moose Recap - Oct 22nd

Grand Rapids Griffins @ Manitoba Moose Recap - Oct 22nd

Moose vs. Griffins - Bell MTS Place : Bell MTS Place

The Manitoba Moose (1-2) faced off against the Grand Rapids Griffins (1-1) on Friday night, marking the first time in a very long stretch that they had their fans in the arena to cheer them on.

It also marked the first AHL games of the year for Cole Perfetti and Nelson Nogier, resulting in some alterations to the Moose lineup. Perfetti moved into the center position on the 2nd line, while Nogier took Simon Lundmark's spot on the 3rd defensive pairing. Leon Gawanke swapped positions with Johnny Kovacevic, joining Jimmy Oligny on the 1st defensive pairing.

Mikhail Berdin got his 4th straight start and was looking to bounce back from an inconsistent performance versus Laval on Wednesday.

With David Gustafsson just a game removed from a 4 point night, Ville Heinola coming off his best game of the year (2 pts & +3), and Cole Perfetti joining the lineup, Manitoba were looking to try to control more of the play in their home opener.

Through 3 games, the Moose scoring leaders are: Gustafsson (4 pts), Eyssimont (3 pts), Heinola (3 pts), & 5 players with 2 pts (Luke Johnson, Kovacevic, Greg Meireles, Bobby Lynch, & Jeff Malott).

The Grand Rapids Griffins are the farm team of the Detriot Red Wings and have former 1st round draft pick Ryan Murray (D), as well as former 2nd round draft picks Jared McIsaac (D), Calvin Pickard (G), & Joe Veleno (C) in their lineup. Murray has picked up 4 pts in 2 games so far this season, while Veleno has netted 3 goals.

Moose Projected Line Up


L. Johnson/Perfetti/Poganski








1st Period Recap:

  • Missed the first 6 minutes of play due to AHLTV having some difficulties. Game was still scoreless when I was finally able to load the game, but there was no audio. So currently listening to the radio broadcast, which is well out of synch with the video.
  • Dominant shift by the first line that included some nice cycling by Gustafsson & Reichel and led to a couple shots from Malott.
  • Gawanke made a nice diving play to break up a Grand Rapids scoring chance.
  • The Griffins were finally able to get their first shot on net after 9 minutes of play, while the Moose had 8 by the midway point of the period.
  • Eyssimont's speed resulted in a Grand Rapids player pulling him down, sending Manitoba to the PP with 9 minutes remaining.
  • The Moose briefly controlled the puck before a bad pass handcuffed Heinola at the blueline. The Griffins raced down the ice and had 2 good SH chances, forcing Berdin to make some solid saves.
  • The 2nd PP unit managed to get a hard shot from Chisholm on net, but couldn't create anything else before the PP ended.
  • The 4th line had an effective shift, pinning the Griffins in their own end for a while. On the next shift, 3rd liner Maier ended up taking a double-minor for high-sticking, which gave Grand Rapids their first PP and a chance to get into the game after being outplayed early.
  • Manitoba did well for the opening part of the long PK, effectively killing off the first 3 minutes before Grand Rapids was able to gain the offensive zone with possession. Poganski with a nice interception that resulted in a SH shot.
  • After the Griffins finally were able to gain the Manitoba zone for the last 15 seconds of the PP, they managed just 1 shot which ended up being blocked by Kovacevic.
  • Perfetti made a nice breakout pass to Poganski in the final minute of play, but Grand Rapids was able to break up the chance at their blueline.
  • The period ended scoreless, despite the Moose outshooting the Griffins 12 to 6. Manitoba went 0 for 1 on the PP, while managing to kill off both PK situations.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Malott (3), Nogier (2), & Meireles (2).

2nd Period Recap:

  • Heinola set up Reichel for an early chance for the Moose, as the 1st line spent a shift in the offensive zone.
  • 2nd line continued taking the play to Grand Rapids, as Perfetti sent a pass to Poganski in front of the net, who batted it towards the goal. A quick reaction by the Griffin's goalie Pickard allowed him to drop and close his legs, stopping the puck from trickling through his pads.
  • A Manitoba bench minor gave the Griffins another PP just over 3 minutes into the period. Gustafsson broke in for a SH opportunity, but his shot sailed over the top corner. Griffins able to gain control in the Moose zone briefly, but couldn't really test Berdin before the puck was cleared. Just at the end of the PP, Nogier lifted the stick of a Griffin at the right time to stop a high danger play, as a pass from Murray couldn't find him for a tap in goal.
  • Shortly after the PK ended, Gustafsson streaked in on a 2 on 1, but couldn't complete his pass to Malott. Gawanke sent a blast that missed the top corner by inches.
  • Polei crashed the net after a wrap-around attempt which led to a quick melee that sent Manitoba to the PK yet again.
  • Manitoba continued with the aggressive penalty killing, making it difficult for the Griffins to set up. They were able to keep the puck in the Moose end for more of the PP this time, but the shots they did get weren't that dangerous.
  • Just past the midway point of the 2nd, the Moose were outshooting the Griffins 23 to 10.
  • Another solid shift from the 2nd line, which ended when Perfetti set up Poganski for a 1 timer that Pickard was able to glove & hold for a whistle.
  • Berdin sent a long break out pass that gave Poganski another scoring chance. He drove to the net, but his backhanded missed the mark.
  • Eyssimont set up Gawanke for a shot from the high slot, but once again the Griffin's goalie was there to deny the Moose.
  • Heinola got in the shooting lane to block a shot on a Grand Rapids chance and the puck bounced into the neutral zone. Cole Maier stripped the puck from a Griffin's player and was off on a 2 on 2. Using a defender as a screen, he released a quick shot that surprised Pickard and gave Manitoba a 1-0 lead.
  • Moose Goal: Maier (1) unassisted.
  • Malott intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and quickly fed the puck to Gustafsson. He skated up the side boards and backhanded a float pass to the front of the net to a streaking Malott. He was only able to get part of the puck and it popped up in the air hitting Pickard's shoulder before going wide.
  • Just under 3 minutes left in the 2nd period and the Moose were outshooting the Griffins 16-5 in the period and 28-11 in the game. Despite completely outplaying the opposition, Manitoba has only a 1 goal lead and this game was still up for grabs.
  • Grand Rapids had an offensive zone possession shift as the period neared a close, resulting in Berdin having to make a couple saves. A failed clear by Manitoba resulted in another high danger chance against, but Veleno's shot from the low slot missed the net.
  • The period ended with Manitoba holding a slight 1 goal lead and a large shot advantage (28-14).
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Malott (4), Perfetti (4), Nogier (3), & Polei (3). The only Moose without a shot after 2 periods are Gustafsson & Suess.

3rd Period Recap:

  • Grands Rapid got a quick chance early in the 3rd when Berdin was just able to get a shoulder on a blast from the point. Veleno had another opportunity, but his shot failed to hit the Moose net.
  • Manitoba continued to spend more time in their own end as Grand Rapids started to push for an equalizer.
  • Oligny stood up at the blueline to keep offensive zone pressure, eventually leading to Malott setting up Gustafsson for a 1 timer. The Moose won the face-off and Johnson had a quick shot that challenged Pickard, but he was able to pounce on the rebound.
  • The Griffins striked back on the next shift, putting pressure on Manitoba's defense until the got a 1 timer from the low slot. Berdin was able to make the save, but the rebound popped out in front of the net. After a scramble, the Moose were finally able to clear the puck to ease the pressure.
  • Grand Rapids rushed in on a 2 on 1 and Berdin blockered a shot into the corner. The Moose quickly transitioned to offense and ended up drawing a penalty to send them to the PP with 14 minutes left in the 3rd.
  • Manitoba struggled to gain the zone, but after 45 seconds were able to do so. After some quick passing, Heinola's 1 timer was blocked from getting to Pickard. A couple face-off wins allowed the Moose to keep O-zone possession, but they were unable to produce another chance.
  • Eyssimont used his speed to skate the puck into the slot just after the PP ended, but his shot was deflected wide. The Moose kept up the pressure and Malott was robbed on a 1 timer after being set up by Kovacevic.
  • Berdin misplayed a puck behind the net and resulted in Kovacevic taking a hooking penalty to send Grand Rapids to the PP.
  • At the midway point of the period, the Moose are outshooting the Griffins 6-4. (34-18 for the game)
  • Gustafsson got his best chance just after the Moose were able to kill of the penalty. He skated in the slot and wristed a dagger aimed underneath Pickard's glove. The Griffin goalie was just able to react and squeeze the puck for a whistle, while Gus looked skyward wondering how he didn't score.
  • The 2nd line was pinned in their end for a shift, but did an admirable job in keeping Grand Rapids to the low danger areas.
  • The Griffins continued their push for the tying goal and had a shift where they put 2 quality shots on net. Multiple blocked shots from Manitoba defensemen as they sit back and allowed Grand Rapids to come at them.
  • The 4th line finally ended the period of play in the Manitoba zone and were able to force an offensive zone face-off for the Moose.
  • Eyssimont & Maier had a 2 on 1 to try to seal the game for Manitoba. The Griffin dman played the pass well, forcing a shot from Eyssimont that Pickard was able to handle.
  • Gustafsson won a defensive zone face-off with 3 minutes left in the game to allow the Moose to exit the zone and spend a short period in the offensive zone.
  • Grand Rapids had problems gaining the Manitoba end with possession and a turnover allowed Perfetti to skate down the ice and force an offensive zone face-off.
  • The Griffins weren't able to pull Pickard for the extra attacker until there was only 50 seconds left in the period. The Moose continued to stand up at their blueline, but Gustafsson ended up getting called for a check to the head (questionable) with 34 seconds left.
  • Grand Rapids with a 6 on 4 advantage were able to get 1 chance on net before the Moose were able to clear the puck. They attempted one last dump in to gain the Manitoba zone, but Oligny quickly shot the puck around the boards to clear the end as the final whistle blew.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Perfetti (6), Malott (5), Nogier (4), Polei (3), & Johnson (3) Suess was the only Moose without a shot.
  • Final Score: Manitoba 1 Grand Rapids 0 Shots: Manitoba 38 Grand Rapids 22

Final Thoughts:

  • Manitoba improved their record to 2-2 with the win in their home opener.
  • During an interview with Gustafsson during the 1st intermission, he talked about being back with the Moose this season. While he admitted that it was disappointing that he was unable to stick with the Jets to start the year, he spoke highly about the advantages of playing a lot of minutes in the AHL to improve his overall game.
  • Winnipeg born Calvin Pickard had a very good game in net for Grand Rapids, who were dramatically outplayed by Manitoba in this one.
  • Both Suess & Eyssimont were a bit quieter in this game, as the 3rd line struggled.
  • Strong debuts for both Perfetti & Nogier and a really good game for Manitoba's 4th line. Perfetti indicated in a post-game interview that he has been told to work on creating space along the boards while he is getting the opportunity to play the key roles and big minutes with the Moose this year.
  • As the shots indicated, Manitoba really did control the majority of play tonight & deserved the win. The Moose were very good when short-handed in this one. Very unlike the Jets, they really kept the pressure on the opposing players often forcing turnovers allowing for quick clears of the defensive zone. Grand Rapids had a difficult time entering the Manitoba zone and often were forced to dump it in.
  • Coach Morrison spoke about how happy he was to have Gustafsson & Perfetti playing center on the PK, noting how well they performed tonight.
  • Berdin has started the season on a bad game-good game rotation, getting his 2nd shut out of the season by stopping all 22 Griffin shots in this game. He needs to work on his consistency this year if he wants to make the jump to the NHL.
  • 3 Stars of the Game:
      • 1st: Mikhail Berdin - Manitoba
      • 2nd: Calvin Pickard - Grand Rapids
      • 3rd: David Gustafsson - Manitoba
  • With the only goal in the game being unassisted, a rare game where only 1 player (Maier) on both teams is able to add to his stat totals.
  • Up Next: Grand Rapids @ Manitoba Moose on Sunday, Oct 24th.

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