WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Grand Rapids Griffins came back from three down to tie the game 4-4 in the third period but the Manitoba Moose scored three unanswered goals to win the contest 7-4 on Sunday afternoon at Bell MTS Place.
The Griffins (5-4-1-1) suffer back-to-back regulation losses for the first time as they give up a season-high seven goals to the Moose. Grand Rapids trailed 4-1 with 12:32 remaining in the second and 4-3 to start the final frame before Chris Terry scored his second of the game to even up the scoreline. However, Manitoba (3-7-0-0) scored the game-winner on a late power play goal from Cameron Schilling and tacked on two empty-netters to end the contest. Grand Rapids returns home for a three-game homestand starting on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 11 a.m. against the Cleveland Monsters for its annual school day game.
The Moose struck first 5:10 into the game as Seth Griffith beat goaltender Filip Larsson on the left goal post. Andrei Chibisov skated towards the right circle in the Griffins’ zone and back handed the puck towards the left wing and Griffith’s one-timer slid under the right skate of Larsson.
Manitoba made it 2-0 just three minutes later at the 8:08 mark in the first. Leon Gawanke slotted a back-door pass to a streaking Schilling whose shot beat the stick of Larsson to score his third of the season.
The Griffins netted a much-needed goal late in the period with 2:09 left. Terry gathered the puck deep in the right corner and found Ryan Kuffner between the circles and his back-handed shot slipped into the bottom left corner. The rookie scored his fourth of the season to cut the Moose lead down to one heading into the second.
Manitoba extended its lead back to two after Jansen Harkins scored his third of the year at the 3:43 mark. After two incredible point-blank saves by Larsson, the third rebound was scooped up by Harkins and his shot sneaked inside the left goal post.
The Moose made it 4-1 on a power play goal from Griffith 7:28 into the second period. Chibisov’s pass from the middle of the zone found Griffith on the left wing whose shot sailed under the right skate of Larsson.
The Griffins’ offense struggled much of the period registering two shots in the first 14 minutes of play. However, they came to life in the final five minutes scoring two goals to cut the lead down to one.
Turner Elson skated down the right wing and behind the net before centering a pass toward Matthew Ford in front of the goal. Ford’s one-timer went under the glove of goaltender Mikhail Berdin for his third goal of the season at the 15:12 mark.
Less than one minute later, Terry battled for a puck near center ice and took a slapshot from the right boards which sped over the left shoulder of Berdin for his team-high-tying sixth goal of the season with 3:54 remaining in the second.
The Griffins climbed back from being down three goals to tie the game 4-4 on a power play goal at the 5:31 mark in the final frame. Moritz Seider sent a puck towards the right boards where Terry skated past a defender and took a tough-angled shot that bounced off the facemask of Berdin and into the net.
However, three penalties for the Griffins in the final 11 minutes of play halted their momentum. Schilling scored his second of the contest on the power play after his shot beat the glove of Larsson. Ville Heinola found Schilling on the right wing and his slapshot did the rest with 6:53 left in the game.
After sending Larsson to the bench to add an extra skater, the Moose sent two into the empty net in the final minutes. Sami Niku scored his second of the season after his shot from inside the Moose zone zoomed down the ice and into the net with 1:10 left. Griffith found his hat-trick goal at the 19:24 mark to score the game’s final goal and give Manitoba the 7-4 victory.
Notes: In addition to bagging his 300th AHL assist, Terry extends his point streak to six games…Grand Rapids was outshot by Manitoba 37-21…The Griffins went 1-for-2 on the power play…Grand Rapids conceded seven goals for the first time since April 10, 2019 when Iowa beat the Griffins 7-3.
Three Stars: 1. MB Griffith (hat trick, assist); 2. MB Schilling (two goals); 3. GR Terry (two goals, assist)