Manitoba Moose @ Grand Rapids Griffins Recap - Nov 13th
After dropping a game to the Grand Rapids Griffins (5-4-1) last night, the Manitoba Moose (6-5-1) were hoping to rebound on Saturday night against the Griffins. The Moose were unable to put a puck past Calvin Pickard in yesterday's match, despite firing 34 shots on net.
Coach Mark Morrison made changes to 3 of the forward lines and 1 defensive pairing:
- 2nd line: Jeff Malott moves from right wing to left wing and Kristian Reichel replaces Mikey Eyssimont.
- 3rd line: Mikey Eyssimont replaces Evan Polei.
- 4th line: Evan Polei replaces Bobby Lynch and Todd Burgess replaces Kristian Reichel
- 2nd D pairing: Nelson Nogier replaces Simon Lundmark
- Scratched: Lynch/Lundmark
- Arvid Holm also will be getting the start in this one, coming in with a 1-1-1 record, 2.60 GAA, & .890 save %.
David Gustafsson and Ville Heinola (9 pts) are leading the Manitoba Moose in scoring through 12 games (though Heinola has only played 10 games). Heinola currently sits in a tie for 4th place in AHL defenseman scoring, 1 pt behind 2 players who have played at least 2 more games than him. The leading defenseman, Scott Perunovich of the Springfield Thunderbirds, has quite the lead, amassing an impressive 18 pts in 11 games.
The Moose PK has been hot lately, allowing just 1 power play goal while killing off 16 of 17 opportunities against in the past 5 games. That’s a fantastic 94.1% success rate for the penalty killers over that period. The PK also added a shorthanded goal on Nov. 6 in Chicago. Manitoba's powerplay hasn't been as consistent, capitalizing on only 17.6% of chances so far this season.
Grand Rapids has been riding the hot goaltending of Calvin Pickard lately and with yesterday's win, they overtook Manitoba for 3rd place in the Central Division. The Griffins have the best PP % in the Central, scoring on 23.5% of chances. They have struggled on the PK this season, successfully killing 75% of short-handed situations.
The Griffins will be going with their back up goalie in tonight's game. The 6'5" Victor Brattstrom has fairly ugly numbers coming in, with a 0-2-1 record, 4.59 GAA, & .844 save %. His only good game this season was in a previous matchup with the Moose, when he allowed 2 goals against in an OT loss.
Moose Projected Line Up
1st Period Recap:
- To open up the game, both teams quickly traded chances. Gustafsson's shot just missed the crossbar and then a Grand Rapids player hit the post from a point shot.
- Four minutes of back-&-forth hockey ensued, with neither team being able to get a shot on net.
- Grand Rapids had a 3 on 2 break against Manitoba. After a pass, Holm did the splits to kick out a hard snapshot and then batted the rebound away before a Griffin could pounce on it.
- Just over 6 minutes into the game, the Moose are finally able to get a shot on the Griffins' Brattstrom when a point shot was floated towards him.
- The 1st line cycled the puck around the zone and Gustafsson found Oligny sneaking into the slot. He snapped a quick pass and Oligny rocketed it in to the top corner by a butterflied Brattstrom. Manitoba took a 1-0 lead 6:40 into the 1st period.
- Moose Goal: Oligny (2) from Poganski (5) and Gustafsson (7)
- Manitoba continued to control the flow of play with a cycle shift along the boards from the 2nd line.
- The Moose did well exiting their zone with crisp and accurate passing to start this game. The Griffins not able to get a second opportunity when they do gain the end.
- Chisholm dangled between a couple defenders before snapping a shot towards the net that the goalie was able to handle. Gustafsson followed up with a chance, but his shot was blocked. As Gustafsson continued to push, a fight broke out in the neutral zone. Polei and Witkowski had a gruelling heavy-weight bout that lasted a while & resulted in both players landing some good punches.
- As we approached the midway point of the 1st, Manitoba was holding a 7-1 shot advantage and were controlling the majority of play.
- Holm made a nice blocker save on a 3 on 2 chance where the puck carrier was forced to shoot due to good defensive coverage.
- CJ Suess has been held without a goal so far this year and he seemed determined to end that streak. He received a pass at his own blueline and continued skating at full speed up the ice. As Suess reached the opponent's blueline, he faked going to the middle before driving outside of the d-man. Once he got a shoulder by the defender, Suess cut in and shifted the puck to his forehand, snapping a quick shot through Brattstrom. Moose up 2-0 with just over 9 minutes left.
- Moose Goal: Suess (1) from Heinola (9) and Nogier (1)
- Kovacevic wrapped a puck around the boards in the Moose end, but Perfetti couldn't chip it by the defenseman. The Grand Rapids top line pounced on the chance, quickly throwing a pass to a streaking Elson. He found himself 1 on 1 with Holm and made a backhand-forehand move before shelving the puck into the top corner. The Griffins close the gap to 2-1 with 7:20 remaining.
- Griffins Goal: Elson (4) from Berggren (5) and King (1)
- Good pokecheck at the blueline by Chisholm broke up a Grand Rapids attack.
- Eyssimont drove the puck into the offensive end. After the Moose passed the puck around the outside, Eyssimont ended up with the puck behind the net. He quickly faked one way & popped out the other side to wrap-around the puck to give Manitoba a 3-1 lead with just under 5 minutes.
- Moose Goal: Eyssimont (5) from Maier (3) and Kovacevic (4)
- The 2nd line followed up immediately with more pressure. Reichel let a shot go from the slot when the puck was poked to him by a Griffin d-man. Brattstrom was able to kick out a pad, but Malott battled for the rebound and stuffed it into the open net. 2 goals in 20 seconds gave the Moose a 4-1 lead.
- Moose Goal: Malott (3) from Reichel (3)
- Polei did a great job muscling through a defender in the neutral zone, leading to a 2 on 1, but his pass was deflected off target.
- Cole Perfetti had a dominant shift, controlling the puck & getting 2 good scoring chances. The first was just put over the net on when he deflected a pass from in tight and the second was a shot from the slot. Reichel was denied on a quick wrist shot from the slot.
- 4th line pushed hard in the final minute, utterly controlling the puck and leading to a good scoring chance for Burgess at the side of the net. The horn ended the period as the Moose had tilted the ice entirely in their favour, outshooting the Griffins 19-4.
- Manitoba Shot Leaders: Perfetti/Suess (3), Poganski/Eyssimont/Malott/Chisholm/Burgess (2)
2nd Period Recap:
- Calvin Pickard replaced Brattstrom in net for Grand Rapids to open the second period.
- The Griffins increased their tempo to open the 2nd and were able to have the puck more often, but still were unable to get a shot on Holm in the opening minutes.
- Holm called upon to make a couple solid saves from in tight, as Grand Rapids continued to push to get back into the game. Kovacevic got called for a slashing call, sending the Moose to the PK.
- A blocked shot by Gawanke led to a Gustafsson SH counter-attack. He wristed a shot through the legs of the defender, but the Griffins' Pickard was able to grab the puck. Grand Rapids regained the MB zone and created a handful of chances, the best 2 ringing off the iron.
- Oligny made a nice move between his own legs and snapped a long shot on Pickard that was easily handled.
- Chisholm stepped up and threw a solid bodycheck on a Griffin trying to skate the puck out of their own end.
- Holm made a great pad save on a deflection from in tight. Grand Rapids continued to push and Kovacevic tripped a player when he dove to break up a chance. On the delayed penalty, the Griffins had a 2 on 1 that was played terribly by Nogier when he just sprawled on the ice not covering the passing lanes, allowing a pass to a wide open player for a tap-in. Manitoba 4 Grand Rapids 2 with 9:33 left in the 2nd.
- Griffins Goal: Criscuolo (2) from Barber (6) and Hirose (11)
- Oligny took a roughing penalty and sent Grand Rapids back to the PP. Holm immediately called on to make a glove save off a face-off loss. After that, the Moose penalty killers got the puck out of their end and made it difficult for the Griffins to regain it. They had a brief period near the end of the penalty, but all they managed was a long wristshot from the point that Holm saw all the way into his glove.
- 4th line brought the play to the Grand Rapids end for a shift. Good work along the boards, but no chances.
- Grand Rapids definitely controlled the majority of the play in the 2nd period, outshooting the Moose 10 to 2. Total shots at this point still were in favour of Manitoba, 21 - 14.
- After the period ended, Grand Rapids' Newpower jumped Eyssimont during a scrum around the Griffin's net. After a short one-sided tussle where the Moose player didn't even drop his gloves, both were given fighting majors. However Newpower also received a 2 minutes instigator penalty, to go with a 10 minute misconduct. Manitoba will start the 3rd on the PP.
- Manitoba Shot Leaders: Perfetti/Suess (3), Poganski/Eyssimont/Malott/Chisholm/Burgess/Gustafsson/Oligny (2)
3rd Period Recap:
- The 1st PP unit struggled initially on the PP. Eventually Poganski got a shot from the face-off dot that resulted in a whistle. The 2nd unit came on and after losing contol of the puck for a bit, were able to break into the Griffin end. Gawanke skated the puck in, quickly dishing it off to Suess standing by the boards at the blueline. He floated a pass into Malott in the low slot. He had his back to the goalie and defender, protecting the puck before flipping it to Meireles who was streaking in from the side boards. Pickard dove across the net, but Meireles' snapshot found twine to give MB a 5-2 lead.
- Moose Goal: Meireles (2) from Malott (4) and Suess (3) - PowerPlay
- Kovacevic sent a long pass from his blueline to Polei at the opponent's blueline. Polei was able to protect the puck and drive around the defender, sending a backhand shot to the net. Pickard kicked the puck out with his pad, but it bounced out right in front of the net. Maier made no mistake and slammed the puck by Pickard as he tried to recover his positioning. Moose take a 6-2 lead just 3:20 into the 3rd.
- Moose Goal: Maier (4) from Polei (3) and Kovacevic (5)
- The 1st line was putting pressure on in the offensive zone, resulting in a Perfetti chance. Shortly after Poganski took a questionable interference call and Manitoba went to the PK.
- The Griffins wasted the majority of this PP, as they were unable to gain the Moose end with possession until the last 10 seconds of the man advantage.
- With 8:53 left in the 3rd period, the Moose are controlling both the scoreboard (6-2) and the shot counter (30-16).
- Eyssimont got called for tripping to send Grand Rapids back to the PP. Their 4th opportunity of the night.
- Chisholm made a brave block on a high slapshot from the point. Appears to hit him in the chest and thankfully not the neck region. Otherwise a great PK, as Manitoba clogged up the blueline and quickly got the puck out of their end when it was dumped in.
- Nogier rocked a Griffin with a bodycheck that led to a chance for Perfetti. His snapshot slightly deflected off a leg in front and narrowly went wide.
- Not much happened in the late part of the 3rd, as both teams knew what the final result of this game would be. Manitoba was happy to limit chances against, only going for offense on the counter-attack. Suess had the best of the these, when he broke out on a 2 on 1, however his shot hit Pickard's chest and was covered.
- Manitoba Shot Leaders: Malott/Heinola/Suess (4), Chisholm/Perfetti/Maier (3)
- Final Score: MANITOBA 6 GRAND RAPIDS 2
- Shots: MANITOBA 35 GRAND RAPIDS 16
- A display of perfection by Manitoba's special teams in this game, with the PP going 1 for 1 and the PK killing off all 4 opportunities.
- After failing to score on Calvin Pickard on Friday night, the Moose were able to put 2 of 16 shots by him when he was called on to play in relief of Brattstrom.
- What a first goal of the season for Suess!! Must have thought he was Connor McDavid to take on everyone himself.
- Not an overly impressive game by Holm statistically, but he had absolutely no chance on the 2nd goal and was surprised when a breakaway situation quickly occurred on the 1st goal. He did make some saves on high danger chances, despite not facing a ton of rubber.
- Believe this is the first time that Manitoba has chased a starting goalie from the net this year. Also the highest goal total for a game this year, as they previously had two 5 goal games.
- 3 Stars of the Game:
- 1st: CJ Suess - Manitoba (1 goal, 1 assist)
- 2nd: Jeff Malott - Manitoba (1 goal, 1 assist)
- 3rd: Cole Maier - Manitoba (1 goal, 1 assist)
- Manitoba returns home after their 2nd longest roadtrip of the season. They will be home for 5 games before going back on the road.
- Up Next: Milwaukee Admirals @ Manitoba Moose on Nov 18th @ 7 PM CST.