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Griffins Rally Falls Short in 5-3 Loss

Griffins Rally Falls Short in 5-3 Loss
Frk Nets 19th in loss…
By Jason Kasiorek
February 24th, 2017

Jared Coreau’s return to the AHL was spoiled by the visiting Milwaukee Admirals as they took advantage of an off night for the league’s best defense to take a 5-3 win. Sniper Martin Frk tallied his 19th for Grand Rapids and added an assist for good measure, while the home team also got scores from Tyler Bertuzzi (9) and Mitch Callahan (14). Coreau, shaking off the rust after a period of inactivity in Detroit, kept the door closed until midway through the game, before yielding four goals in a 15 minute span. He finished with 24 saves on the night as the Admirals won their 4th straight game.

The first half of the period seemed like a feeling out time for the two teams. No great scoring chances and neither team with much of an advantage. Kyle Criscuolo with a steal and a nice chance and then to Robbie Russo. Russo gave it back to Criscuolo for a backhand from the slot. The Griffins tried to push the pace in the latter stages of the first period, but were unable to solve Mazanec. Shots on goal: GR 10 – Mil 7.

Grand Rapids having a hard time clearing their zone. Point blank chance on Coreau and then an Admirals forward tried to knock it out of Coreau’s glove, drawing a crowd. Behind the play, Renouf dropped the gloves with Payerl in a brief bout. The Griffins ended up in penalty trouble, culminating in a 5-on-3 powerplay for Milwaukee for a minute and change. Great work on the penalty kill, Paetsch blocking shots and Nosek with a big clear. Huge stop by Coreau on what looked like a sure goal. Coreau with another stop and then Gaudreau batted it in behind him to open the scoring. Six minutes later, Kirkland made it 2-1, when a puck going wide hit a skate and bounced right onto his stick staring at the empty side of the net. Shots on goal: GR 8 – Mil 10.

Gaudreau tallied again in the first minute to push the lead to three, and the Griffins into a big hole. Callahan agitating off the faceoff as several players jaw back and forth with him. Callahan with a breakaway, but was interfered with just enough to not be able to get a good shot off. Aberg scored an insurance goal off a pretty back door feed to restore the three goal cushion. Liambas to the box for a Griffins powerplay, then Lorito was hooked down, setting up a 5-on-3. Callahan with a filthy wrister from a bad angle that went in over Mazanec’s shoulder, glove side for a powerplay goal. Mazanec had a hard time with Campbell’s shot from the line, making a juggling save. Frk on his knees in front, banged home his own rebound to cut the lead to two. Milwaukee with a two-on-one but Coreau snatched the puck with a quick glove. Great work by Frk to get the puck deep and then drive through the defenseman by the net, knocking him to the ice. The puck went back to Bert along the boards and he took it east to west across the slot before blowing a shot through Mazanec five-hole to pull the Griffins to within one. The Griffins have really picked up the pace and the Admirals back on their heels trying to defend against the speed of the attack. Grand Rapids rally was stalled when they were assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice with less than four minutes left. Captain Nathan Paetsch was very upset with a missed high stick, arguing with the official for several minutes. The Admirals’ Smith put a shot on net and as he circled the cage gave Coreau a wicked slash to see if he would drop the puck. Allen went right over and threw a couple of punches, sending Smith to the ice and touching off a big scrum. Allen ended up with the extra penalty and a ten minute misconduct to boot, leaving the Griffins down by two men. The GR penalty killers were up to the task killing off the penalties. Coreau to the bench for the extra skater with less than a minute on the clock, but Milwaukee clears and Payerl skates it down and fires it into the empty net to seal a 5-3 win. Shots on goal: GR 11 – Mil 12. For the Game: GR 29 – Mil 29.

Bertuzzi – Nosek – Frk
Svechnikov – Street – Callahan
Ford – Criscuolo – Lorito
Drew Miller – Turgeon – Campbell

Lashoff – Allen
Renouf – Russo
Paetsch – Hicketts

Starter: #31 Jared Coreau
Backup: Pasquale

#11 Cleary – Veteran
#26 Tangradi

Lorito – Nosek – Callahan
Frk – Street

Ford – Criscuolo – Svechnikov
Bertuzzi – Russo

Nosek – Campbell
Paetsch – Lashoff

Miller – Street
Allen – Russo


The second period was pretty rough, although several of the goals were just chalked up to bad bounces. Coreau did not look as bad as the record would show, but you can’t win every game.

Marty Frk was dangerous all night, firing the puck from anywhere on the ice and any angle. It is surprising how compact his windup can be and how quickly he can get the puck off with the high velocity he does. Also worth noting was how much he battled tonight, really fighting for position and taking a lot of punishment to get into scoring areas. He does not do this every night, but when he is on, it is impressive watching his determination.

Official Game Sheet

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