WINNIPEG, Manitoba – With a perfect 28-save effort by Jared Coreau, the Grand Rapids Griffins earned a point in its 10th straight game (8-0-0-2) with a 1-0 victory over the Manitoba Moose on Thursday at Bell MTS Place.
This was the Griffins’ first shutout since Eddie Pasquale blanked the Rockford IceHogs on March 25, 2017 at BMO Harris Bank Center. It was Coreau’s first shutout since November 11, 2016 when again the IceHogs were the subject of Grand Rapids’ perfection.
The Griffins (27-18-1-6) are back in action on Saturday against the Moose (32-12-4-3) from Winnipeg. The puck will drop at 8 p.m. EST.
No goals were scored in the opening period, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Griffins outshot the Moose, 13-9, with a lot of those opportunities coming from the team’s three power plays. Two of the penalties came within two minutes of each other, so Grand Rapids had a two-man advantage for 36 seconds. All saves were made by the Manitoba goaltender Jamie Phillips.
Matt Lorito broke the tie with his 17th goal of the season at the 11:18 mark of the second period. A turnover in the neutral zone landed in the left winger’s direction. He skated into the Manitoba zone unassisted and sent a laser over Phillips’ left shoulder and into the net. He now has eight points in his last nine games for the Griffins.
Grand Rapids caught a break when a Manitoba goal was disallowed with 6:58 remaining in the period because of a high stick that was used to deflect the puck into the net.
A few minutes later a 2-on-1 rush by the Moose was foiled by a right pad save by Coreau and a little assistance from Vili Saarijarvi who was the lone defenseman on the play.
Two power plays in the final frame helped the Griffins outshoot the opposition, 10-6. In one sequence Eric Tangradi skated towards the net and made a slick, centering pass to Axel Holmstrom who attempted to redirect the puck into the cage. Phillips again made the save to keep the game within reach.
Manitoba emptied the net with 1:38 remaining in regulation, but the home team continued to get shut down by Coreau on his way to 28 saves. Jamie Phillips finished the contest with 37 saves.
Neither team converted on its power play chances. The Griffins finished 0-for-5 while the Moose finished 0-for-2.
Three Stars: 1. GR Coreau (W, 28 saves, SO); 2. MB Phillips (L, 37 saves); 3. GR Lorito (game-winning goal)