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Griffins rip Moose apart in game 2 with a 5-1 win to even series 1-1

Recap of game 2.

April 22, 2018 – Manitoba Moose vs. Grand Rapids Griffins

In game 2 of their first round playoff series, the Manitoba Moose took on the Grand Rapids Griffins in yet another matinee affair at Bell-MTS Place. The Moose snuck out of game 1 with an improbable 3-2 victory on the strength of a spectacular effort by Eric Comrie, and a late third period powerplay goal by Michael Spacek. Today, the Moose were looking to extend their lead in this best of 5 series, and give themselves a cushion for the remaining games, all of which will take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


2-De Leo-Sgarbossa-Robinson



Game Recap

First Period

Just a few minutes into the game, the Moose 4th line got the action started, as Michael Spacek entered the zone and made a crafty drop pass to Cam MacLise; MacLise drove the net with speed, and made a quick wrap-around on his backhand, and Francis Beauvillier jammed at the puck twice and managed to trickle it past McCollum to give the Moose an early 1-0 lead. Shots at this point were 5-0 Moose. But only a few minutes later, Nelson Nogier took an interference penalty behind his own net, giving the dangerous Griffins powerplay a chance to even the score. (Note: the Moose were penalized twice yesterday for the same infraction.) Unlike yesterday, this time it came back to bite them, as Griffins captain Matt Ford buried on a perfect wrist shot from the slot, which beat Comrie high-glove to tie the game at 1. After play settled, Moose captain Patrice Cormier took an ill-advised interference penalty behind the Griffins net – the team’s 4th interference penalty in 3.5 periods of hockey – and the Griffins capitalized again on the powerplay, with Eric Tangradi beating Comrie on the short side on a quick shot which just snuck in under the cross-bar. Then, with the Moose already stinging from the latest goal against, Turner Elson snuck in off a faceoff and took a harmless looking wrist shot through traffic which beat a screened Comrie, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead. The Moose had a pair of powerplays in the latter stages of the first but weren’t able to convert on either of them. Then, with 1:04 left in the first, Peter Stoykewych gave the puck away to Griffins leading scorer, Ben Street, who came in all alone and made a very nifty deke before lifting a backhander glove side – a back-breaking goal which gave the Griffins a commanding 4-1 lead.

Ben Street goal vs Comrie

Photo Credit: Colby Spence

Second Period

After a demoralizing end to the first period, the Moose started out the second on the wrong foot, with Nic Petan taking a slashing penalty. The Griffins had opportunities to go up 5-1, but ultimately the Moose were able to get their first kill of the game. With just 3 shots halfway through the period, things seemed to go from bad to worse, as Moose star rookie Mason Appleton was struck in the head off a blindside check by Colin Campbell, putting the Moose on the powerplay. (Appleton was on the ice for a few moments but stayed in the game). They weren’t able to accomplish much of anything on the man advantage, and continued to trail 4-1. That didn’t last long however, as Griffins’ forward Axel Holmstrom made a great pass through the slot to Evgeny Svechnikov, and he had two cracks at the puck before beating Eric Comrie. The Moose went to the room in a state of despair, down 5-1 after two periods.

Third Period

Jamie Phillips started the period in relief of Eric Comrie, but it was clear a few minutes in that the game was already over. The Moose didn’t generate any scoring chances, and about 7 minutes in, the frustration had more than set in, as Brendan Lemieux and Patrice Cormier both took 10-minute misconduct penalties, with Lemieux also taking a double-minor for roughing (after trying to punch Dan Renouf through the referee’s clutches). Then with under 10 minutes left to play, Buddy Robinson took a 5-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. With the Moose unhinged at this point, the final minutes crawled by. The Griffins swept the 3-stars, with Ford and Street each with scoring 3 points, and their goaltender saving 21 of 22 shots.

Scoring Summary

Official game sheet

Game Notes & Other News

-After a gutsy performance yesterday to pull out a last minute victory, the Moose were absolutely trounced in this game from the 5-minute mark and on, out-shot 39-17, and out-scored 5-0. The Griffins had 8 powerplays in this game, compared to 4 for the Moose.

-After a fantastic performance in yesterday’s game, Eric Comrie wasn’t able to shut the door today. He wasn’t bad or at fault on any particular goal, but the team needed him to be a star in order to keep the game close, and he wasn’t able to rise to the occasion.

-In a game where you’d be hard-pressed to find a Moose skater who played well, one of the most disappointing performances came from Moose captain, Patrice Cormier. His first period penalty was both totally unnecessary, and a turning point in the game, as it helped give the Griffins a 2-1 lead, and really swung the momentum. Then he took a 10-minute misconduct in the third – a time which was meant for the Moose to generate some momentum for next game, if anything. If a captain is meant to lead by example, Cormier set the wrong tone today.

-The best-of-5 series is now tied at 1, with the rest of the series taking place on the road in Grand Rapids. If there’s a silver lining, it might be that the Moose record this season in Grand Rapids was a respectable 2-2-0, whereas their home record against the Griffins was 0-3-1.

-The Moose iced the same roster as in yesterday’s game, still without veteran defenceman Julian Melchiori. The only other semi-regular out of the lineup was Jansen Harkins, but it was unclear whether he was banged up, or a healthy scratch.

Post-game interviews

Francis Beauvillier

Patrice Cormier

Coach Vincent

Next Playoff Action

Wednesday, April 25th in Grand Rapids, Michigan.