MILWAUKEE – After giving up the game’s first two goals, the Grand Rapids Griffins buckled down and scored six straight goals to defeat the Milwaukee Admirals, 6-2, at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Saturday night. The defending Calder Cup champions point streak increased to seven games (6-0-0-1).
With the victory, the Griffins (39-24-1-7) magic number to clinch a playoff berth is down to four. Meanwhile, the Admirals (35-29-4-1) continue to be on the outside looking in from fifth place in the Central Division.
Four points from Eric Tangradi propelled the road team to victory while earning the game’s first star distinction. He has recorded nine points in his last six games.
Frederick Gaudreau scored his 20th goal of the season just 1:59 into the game. He tapped in the puck off of Tom McCollum’s extended left skate after a centering pass from Jimmy Oligny near the left board.
Brandon Bollig added his 10th goal by scoring from the slot at the 10:35 mark of the second period. Tyler Moy’s centering pass from behind the net set up the scoring chance after a turnover in the Grand Rapids zone. The puck was tucked in under McCollum’s right arm.
Robbie Russo put the Griffins on the board with his ninth goal 2:21 later at 12:56 with a slap shot from the right point. Tangradi made the assist from the right circle after Ben Street won the faceoff after an icing call.
Tangradi’s 28th goal at 17:43 of the second frame tied the game after Anders Lindback’s turnover in the Milwaukee zone left the puck alone behind the net. After scooping it up, the Philadelphia native skated towards the net and slipped a backhanded shot between the goaltender’s legs.
Street gave Grand Rapids the lead with his 19th tally leaving 1:35 left in the second period after forcing a turnover in the home team’s zone. The puck sailed under Lindback’s right arm after a centering pass from Tangradi.
Tangradi’s second goal of the game came on the power play, 63 seconds into the final stanza. The Griffins’ leading scorer deflected Street’s shot from the left circle to send the puck fluttering over the goaltender’s outstretched left glove.
Dominic Turgeon was in the right place at the right time for his 14th goal of the campaign. A series of bounces led to the puck ricocheting off of his stick before a defenseman fumbled it into the net.
Axel Holmstrom got in on the act with his seventh goal of the season leaving 2:36 remaining on the clock. Lindback tried to clear the puck past the fourth year pro, but the skilled Swede stopped it with his stick and sent it past the netminder’s right leg for the 6-2 victory.
McCollum pushed aside 28 shots to improve his record to 18-13-3, while Lindback stopped 26 shots in a losing effort.
Grand Rapids finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while Milwaukee went 0-for-2.
Three Stars: 1. GR Tangradi (two goals, two assists); 2. GR Street (goal, two assists); 3. GR Russo (goal, assist)