Recap: Griffins drop road-and-road opener to Moose in Winnipeg

The Grand Rapids Griffins sort of had “opposite night” when compared to their parent club on Friday evening in Winnipeg: Grand Rapids actually scored the game’s first two goals, with Tyler Spezia and Turner Elson opening up a 2-0 lead…into which the Griffins fell like a chasm, surrendering four 3rd period goals (including an empty-netter) to the hometown Moose, ultimately losing a 4-2 decision.

Calvin Pickard was still named the game’s first star as he stopped 38 of 41 shots for the Griffins, but the goalie can’t score goals.

Anyway, here’s the Griffins website’s recap:

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Manitoba Moose 4

Dec. 10, 2021

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Manitoba’s four-goal third period pushed the Moose past the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 at Canada Life Centre on Friday night. Grand Rapids is now winless in its last five trips to Manitoba (0-4-0-1), dating back to the 2019-20 campaign.

Despite the loss, Calvin Pickard made 38 saves during his 10th straight start, including a 20-save second period, which tied a season high for the netminder. The Griffins’ roster featured six players on a professional tryout with five coming from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

In the first period both teams had chances, but goaltenders Pickard and Arvid Holm held their own. The Griffins had an early power play opportunity but failed to convert. Manitoba returned the favor when it came up short on two chances with the man advantage. There were just 11 shots total in the frame, as the Moose held onto a 6-5 lead.

Grand Rapids broke the scoreless tie early in the second frame although the team was outshot 20-6 in the period. Manitoba’s 20 shots are tied for the most allowed in a period this season by the Griffins.

At 1:16, Riley Barber found Tyler Spezia as he broke away from the defense and walked toward the goal. Spezia then snapped the puck behind Holm for his fourth tally of the season and first since Nov. 19 against Texas.

With 8:37 remaining, Josh Dickinson made a no-look backhand feed to Turner Elson who waited at the goal mouth for the pass. Elson then delivered a shot that went over the shoulder of Holm to give the Griffins a 2-0 lead. Dickinson notched his first point as a Griffin with the helper.

After two unanswered goals, Manitoba responded in the third period with four of its own.

At 2:22, Cole Maier stood at the left post and gathered a deflection to put the puck past the leg of Pickard, giving him his seventh goal and third against the Griffins this season.

Maier took an initial shot from the slot but was stopped by Pickard. Mikey Eyssimont collected the rebound and fired the puck into the right corner to tie the contest at two with 12:05 remaining.

After a deflection in front of the net, David Gustafsson delivered the biscuit across the goal mouth and past Pickard to give the Moose a 3-2 lead at 16:33.

Down by one, Pickard was sent off the ice for an extra skater with 1:52 left on the clock. After taking the disc away from Manitoba, the Griffins’ defense lost the puck deep in their own zone. Kristian Reichel gathered the rubber at the right circle and snapped it into the empty net, giving the Moose a 4-2 win.

The Moose posted a photo gallery and a highlight clip:

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.