Manitoba Moose @ Grand Rapids Griffins Recap - Nov 12th

Manitoba Moose @ Grand Rapids Griffins Recap - Nov 12th

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

The Manitoba Moose (6-4-1) will finish their road trip with back-to-back games against the Grand Rapids Griffins (4-4-1). Earlier in the season, these two teams had played a pair of games in Manitoba, with the Moose pulling out 2 close wins.

Manitoba will make only one change to their lineup for tonight's game, with Bobby Lynch replacing Thomas Caron on the 4th line. Mikhail Berdin will make his 8th start of the year, coming in with a 4-3 record, 2.72 GAA, .885 Save %, and 2 shutouts.

The Moose were coming off an explosion of shots in the last game, setting franchise records for the most shots in a game (60) and for most shots by 1 player in a game (Leon Gawanke - 11). They have consistently been able to put the puck on net, but a bunch of players are still struggling to find the net consistently. Cole Perfetti has hit 4 goal posts in the past 3 games, Jeff Malott has scored in 2 straight games after being shutout for the opening 8, and CJ Suess has had so many high quality chances but has yet to light the lamp.

I wonder what the reason is for moving Perfetti to the wing a few games back, as I thought he was playing well as the 2nd line center. The positive things of the move is that he gets a slight increase in playing time moving from the 2nd line to the 1st and gets to play with David Gustafsson. Possibly it's to get him used to playing left wing, as that may be the position he has to play when he becomes a regular Winnipeg Jet? Regardless of the reasons, it certainly gives Manitoba a very strong top line.

Grand Rapids enters the game on a 2 game winning streak with LW Taro Hirose leading the team with 11 pts. Calvin Pickard will get the start for the Griffins and he has been playing well to start the season (4-2/1.99 GAA/.936 save %).

The Grand Rapids Griffins are the farm team of the Detriot Red Wings and have former 2nd round draft picks Jared McIsaac (D), Calvin Pickard (G), & Joe Veleno (C) in their lineup.

Moose Projected Line Up












1st Period Recap:

  • Manitoba started the 4th line to open the game, but it wasn't until the 1st line got on the ice that the Moose had their first chance. Unsurprisingly, it was off the stick of the shot-machine Gawanke, when he 1 timed a pass from Chisholm. The Griffins' Pickard made a quick glove save and held on for a whistle with Perfetti & Gustafsson lurking for a rebound.
  • Berdin made a pair of routine saves as the Grand Rapids top line put some pressure on.
  • A fairly choppy start to the game, with Manitoba dmen doing well to keep their gaps tight and frustrating the Griffins' zone exits.
  • Nice passing from Lundmark and Lynch led to a point shot from Oligny that was deflected just over the net.
  • Lynch intercepted the puck at the opponents blueline as he was heading for a line change. He quickly threw the puck to Kovacevic, who fed a pass to a streaking Perfetti. The pass was deflected on route and when Perfetti got it, he was in too close to get it up & over Pickard's pad.
  • Grand Rapids took the rebound and raced down the ice. A Griffin player drove around Kovacevic and just before he headed behind the net, threw a pass out front. Turner Elson was able to out-battle Heinola & Poganski and shot the puck just inside the goalpost. Grand Rapids took a 1-0 lead with 5:12 gone in the 1st period.
  • Griffins Goal: Elson (3) from Berggren (4) & Murphy (5)
  • A long stretch pass found Reichel and he let go a wrist shot from the face-off dot. Pickard used his shoulder to deflect the chance over top of the net. They continue to press and Lundmark made a nice move at the blueline to find some open space for a shot, but a stick deflected the puck out of play.
  • As the game reached the midway point, neither team has really been able to put on any pressure that lasted longer than a shift. Shot were 5 - 4 for Manitoba after Cole Maier made a nice move behind the net to beat the defenseman, but his wrap-around attempt was denied.
  • After a couple good shifts by the Moose, Berdin was called on to make 2 grade A chances from the low slot. Both times he was able to get a shoulder/chest on the puck to deny the Griffins.
  • Kovacevic skated the puck down the ice and passed it off to Perfetti as he entered the Griffins' zone while he continued to drive the net. Perfetti floated a pass to the slot to Poganski who 1 timed the puck. Pickard kicked out the rebound and Perfetti was there. A quick shot was once again denied by Pickard.
  • Meireles took a slashing penalty when he knocked the stick out of a Grand Rapids' players hands with just under 6 minutes left.
  • The Griffins PP controlled the puck initially, but couldn't get a shot through to the net before the puck was cleared. Gustafsson led a SH counter-attack that resulted in 2 shots on Pickard. Grand Rapids was able to gain the offensive zone for the last 30 seconds of the PP, but couldn't manage a shot before Meireles was out of the box.
  • Nice passing play by Perfetti, Poganski, & Gustafsson but the puck bounced off the Swede's stick to nulify the opportunity. Perfetti & Gustafsson had a 2 on 2 shortly after and Cole opted to keep the puck, wristing a shot that was turned aside by the goalie.
  • Grand Rapids had a 2 on 1 when they broke up a play in the neutral zone. Berdin denied the original snapshot from 3 feet out, plus the rebound from in tight as he robbed the Griffins of a couple chances to take a 2 goal lead.
  • 4th line had a strong grind & cycle shift in the final minute, but couldn't find a way to get a shot through to Pickard. Berdin called on to make a final save on a hard snapshot from the high slot.
  • Just as the period ended, Chisholm absolutely lit up a Griffin player in the neutral zone with a hard & clean bodycheck. Grand Rapids led the game after one period 1 to 0, but were being slightly outshot (10-8).
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Perfetti (3) & Maier (2)

2nd Period Recap:

  • 2nd line had their best shift of the game when they dominated their first shift of the 2nd period. Eyssimont set up Malott for a pair of chances, the first ended when Pickard's pokecheck broke up a pass and the second was snagged by a quick glove.
  • 4th line broke in and Reichel was denied from the low slot after he made a nice move to beat the d-man. 1st line followed up with some pressure.
  • Maier muffed a 1 timer attempt from the low slot when Eyssimont fed him a nice pass. 4th line controlled the puck and had multiple chances - Meireles denied from in front and Chisholm on a rebound of a Lynch shot.
  • In the opening 6:20 of the period, Manitoba had the majority of the shots (6-1) as they tried to tie the game up.
  • Manitoba had another shift in the offensive zone when the 3rd line cycled the puck around, but the shot attempts were all blocked by defenders.
  • Berdin called on to make a big save as he got a piece of his glove on a shot when the Griffins found a trailer on a 3 on 2. Midway point saw the shots 19-10 in favour of the Moose.
  • Moose lost the following face-off and Grand Rapids had multiple chances to extend their lead. Berdin turned aside a shot with a pad save and then sprawled across his net to deny the rebound attempt.
  • Manitoba got caught on a line change when a defenseman sprung Hirose with a long stretch pass. Berdin was able to butterfly and stop the Griffins leading scorer's breakaway attempt. 4 straight shots from Grand Rapids as they start to take control of the flow of play.
  • Maier cleanly won an offensive zone face-off and Oligny blasted the puck just wide of the top corner. Something happened to Gustafsson off camera and he went to the bench slowly.
  • With just over 4 minutes left in the 2nd, both teams took penalties and they would go 4 on 4 for 2 minutes. Gustafsson returned to the ice.
  • Both teams had possession of the puck in the first minute, but neither could create a shot on net. With 51 seconds left in the 4 on 4, Heinola tried to make a move at the blueline & he ended up taking a highstick.
  • The Moose got a brief 4 on 3 PP, but lost the opening draw. Able to regain the zone quickly, they worked the puck around and set up Gawanke for a 1 timer that was turned aside by Pickard. The PP switched to a 5 on 4 and Manitoba continued to push. A Gustafsson shot from the low slot just missed the net and Poganski was denied when he tried to beat Pickard over the glove.
  • Grand Rapids got a breakaway when Chisholm failed to hold the blueline. Another big save by Berdin to keep Manitoba down by 1.
  • Perfetti drove to the net hard as the PP ended, holding off a couple defenders and losing the puck as he attempted to pull it to the backhand for a shot.
  • Riley Barber was sprung on a 1 on 1 with Oligny. The d-man was able to poke the puck off the Griffin forward, but it bounced off his skate and right back to Barber. He quickly snapped it between Oligny's legs to surprise Berdin. The Griffins took a 2 - 0 lead with 19 seconds remaining.
  • Griffins Goal: Barber (5) from Spezia (3) and Hirose (10)
  • The period ended with Manitoba having a 24-16 shot advantage and trailing by 2 goals. In a fairly familar refrain, the Moose find themselves outplaying an opponent, but just can't take advantage of their chances. They will require another 3rd period comeback to try & pull a point or 2 from this game.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Maier & Reichel (4), Perfetti (3)

3rd Period Recap:

  • Reichel stoned by Pickard from 3 feet in front on the net when he got to a rebound.
  • Berdin robbed Martin off a snapshot from the low slot when he quickly gloved a shot heading for the top corner.
  • Nice passing by Perfetti & Gustafsson led to a drop pass for Oligny in the high slot. His slapshot was blocked by a diving defender.
  • With just over 7 minutes gone in the 3rd, Suess kept his feet moving along the boards and a Griffin defender pulled him down to send the Moose to the PP.
  • Off the opening draw, Gustafsson blasted a shot that barely missed the top corner. 1st PP unit struggled to regain the zone until Perfetti dangled his way into the Grand Rapids end. They couldn't create a chance before giving way to the 2nd PP unit, who managed a 1 timer from Malott. The rebound just trickled by Chisholm and Manitoba failed to score on the PP. Good pressure by the Griffins was forcing poor passes.
  • During a scrum after the whistle, Gawanke & Shine get off-setting penalties to put the teams at 4 on 4 for 2 minutes.
  • Perfetti displayed his speed and moves when he weaved between 2 defenders before losing the puck when he tried to tuck it by Pickard.
  • Grand Rapids created a turnover in the Moose end and a quick pass to the slot led to a 1 timer. Berdin absolutely stoned the Griffin shooter just before the 4 on 4 ended.
  • 2nd line spent a shift in the offensive zone, resulting in chances for Malott & Suess.
  • With 8 minutes left in the period, Manitoba once again hit the 30 shot mark.
  • Berdin made a poke check to stop a chance from the Griffins' Pearson.
  • Lundmark had a shot off a face-off win that made Pickard stretch out with his pad to just stop it from going in the low right corner.
  • After a strong possession shift for the 2nd line, Suess ended up setting Perfetti up in the slot as he came from a line change. Perfetti's snapshot hit a defender's leg and couldn't make it to the net.
  • Chisholm broke up a 2 on 1 the other way when he sprawled on the ice to block the pass attempt, then swung his stick to knock the puck away from the shooter.
  • 3rd line cycled behind the net before throwing a pass out front to Maier. Pickard was able to make the save and the Grand Rapids defense was able to block any Moose player from getting to the rebound.
  • Manitoba pulled the goalie with just over 2 minutes left. They were able to control the puck and move it around the zone. Did manage a couple shots, but nothing too dangerous.
  • One final chance was wasted when Perfetti let a wrist shot go that sailed a foot wide of the net. Grand Rapids held on for the 2-0 win and these teams will get ready for the rematch on Saturday evening.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Maier (6) & Malott/Perfetti/Reichel (4)
  • Final Score: Grand Rapids 2 Manitoba 0
  • Shots: Manitoba 34 Grand Rapids 25

Final Thoughts:

  • While Manitoba has done well limiting shots against this year, too often the ones that they do allow are of the high danger variety. Berdin did a good job by making some big saves to keep the hope alive for a comeback.
  • The Moose did control most of the game in this one, but once again their opponents were better at burying their chances. Unfortunately when Manitoba needed to dominate to attempt the comeback, the 3rd period ended up being fairly even in terms of chances for both squads.
  • Thought Perfetti had a pretty good game in this one. So did Greg Meireles and the 4th line.
  • 3 Stars of the Game:
      • 1st: Calvin Pickard - Grand Rapids (Shut-out, 34 of 34 saves)
      • 2nd: Turner Elson - Grand Rapids (goal)
      • 3rd: Riley Barber - Grand Rapids (goal)
  • If Manitoba gets lucky, maybe they won't have to face Calvin Pickard again on Saturday.
  • Up Next: Manitoba Moose @ Grand Rapids Griffins on Nov 13th @ 6 PM CST.

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