Griffins Outlast marlies 3-2
MacDonald and Nyquist lead the way in home opener win...
By Jason Kasiorek
October 7, 2010
Veteran netminder Joey macDonald made 27 saves, several of them spectacular, to backstop the Griffins to their first win of the season. Grand Rapids got goals from Willie Coetzee (2), Gustav Nyquist (1) and Doug Janik (1) and a pair of assists from Chris Conner to help win their home opener. The Marlies scored first before the Griffins scored three unanswered goals to take a commanding 3-1 lead. They pulled to within one with 20 seconds left after pulling goalie Ben Scrivens.
The Griffins had trouble breaking out of their zone with possession early in the game. Mitchell Callahan was drawing a lot of attention from the Marlies in the early going, a recurring theme in this contest. Toronto got possession in the corner, Blacker sent it out front and Matt Lashoff chipped it in over MacDonald for a 1-0 lead. Coetzee answered right back, tipping in a fluttering shot by Parkes from the line. The Griffins were really putting the pressure on late in the period. With less than a minute on the clock, Conner got the puck behind the net and hit Nyquist who buried it to make it 2-1. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Tor 5.
Callahan and Finger squared off early in the second, and the Griffins rookie got the worst of a short bout. Pare took a high stick in the corner and went down in a heap. Exelby tried to get at the offender but the officials kept them separated. The Marlies got a shorthanded breakaway but Pyett knocked the puck carrier into the middle of next week to break up the play. Toronto rang a shot off the crossbar and Tatar picked it up and spring Ferraro on a break for a dangerous scoring chance. Big hit by Amadio leaves Gr down by two. The Griffins PK was up to the task and got them out of trouble. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Tor 11.
Janik jumped up into the play, cut through the crease, and went top shelf to stake a 3-1 lead just 15 seconds into the period. The Marlies buckled down with their best sustained pressure in the Griffins end. Joey MacDonald was at the top of his game making some incredible saves. Toronto was getting very choppy around the net in the closing minutes of the game. Scrivens to the bench for the extra attacker with a minute and change on the clock. Colborne finally got another one past MacDonald with just 21.9 left in the game. The Griffins then kept the puck out until time ran down for a Grand Rapids win. Shots on goal: GR 5 - Tor 13. For the Game: GR 27 - Tor 29.
Nyquist - Andersson - Conner
Tatar - Johnson - Pare
Parkes - Raedeke - Coetzee
Callahan - Ferraro - Aubry
Janik - Pyett
Exelby - Lashoff
Amadio - Ehrhardt
Conner/Parkes - Andersson - Coetzee
Pyett/Ehrhardt - Nyquist
Tatar - Johnson - Ferraro
Pare - Ehrhardt
Andersson - Conner
Lashoff - Exelby
Callahan - Raedeke/Ferraro
Janik - Amadio/Pyett
Raedeke - Tatar
Garnet Exelby logged a ton of ice time in all situations and looked good. He blocked shots, brought a physical presence and moved the puck up ice at will. Provided he stays in GR for the season, he should be a difference maker.
Willie Coetzee kept up his hot hand, notching his second goal in as many games. He also showed off some slick moves in the corner and along the boards to advance the puck.It really looks like he learned his lessons last season and is ready to be a contributor.
Chris Conner was very noticeable creating turnovers, setting up Nyquist and taking the body.
Landon Ferraro had a great game and really stood out. His speed and skill are evident and he was absolutely dogged in his pursuit of the puck. The rookie center also brought a lot of grit and was great on the forecheck.
Mitchell Callahan was an irritant to the Marlies most of the game. He hit anything in blue as often as he could and some of the hits were big. He also made some nice plays with the puck and did not look out of place.
Brian Lashoff looks much more poised and his added muscle were apparent in his physical game. This is how he was expected to start last season, and hopefully this is the start of good things from the big blueliner.
Parkes and Aubry didn't stand out to much except that Parkes looked much faster in the offensive zone than he did when he was in his own end.