Moose Earn Point in OT Loss at Grand Rapids
The Manitoba Moose (19-9-2-1) faced off against the Grand Rapids Griffins (14-11-4-1) for a Friday night showdown at Van Andel Arena. The Moose were coming off a 2-0 shutout victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday.
Manitoba got the scoring started for the ninth straight contest. With under five minutes remaining in the first period, Evan Polei got a hold of the puck and went on the attack. The forward, who was making his return to the lineup, fired the first shot before following his own rebound before sending it past Victor Brattstrom for a 1-0 Moose lead. Evan Cormier, who was making his fifth start for Manitoba, finished the frame perfect with 11 saves. Brattstrom ended with five of his own.
The Moose started the second period on the penalty kill and the Griffins quickly took advantage. Ryan Murphy found the back of the net 56 seconds in to knot up the game 1-1. Later in the frame, Thomas Caron laid a thunderous hit with the fallout resulting in a Moose opportunity on the power play. A clearing attempt was blocked by Luke Johnson who fired the puck across the ice for Todd Burgess. The forward slammed it past Brattstrom restore the lead and push the Moose ahead 2-1 through 40 minutes, despite being outshot 14-7 in the middle frame.
The third and final frame saw the Griffins make a push and attempt to find the equalizer. Late in the period, Kyle Criscuolo tied the game with under five to play on a sharp angle shot off the rush. Despite the Moose outshooting the Griffins 12-8 in the third, Grand Rapids had the only goal of the period and sent the contest into overtime. With less than a minute left in the extra frame, Jonatan Berggren pulled back and fired the winner over the glove of Cormier to end the contest 3-2. Cormier finished the night with 32 saves while Brattstrom picked up the win with 25 of his own.
Luke Johnson has four points (2G, 2A) in his last four games
Evan Cormier has a record of 3-0-2 in his first five starts with the Moose and has a goals-against average of 2.13 and a .927 save percentage
The power play goal by Todd Burgess was his first man advantage marker in the AHL
Moose Defenceman Jimmy Oligny (Click for full interview)
"I thought the first two periods we let some good chances come down our end. We played a good third and once again Corms (Cormier) was unbelievable for us. Our compete level is there but we just have so many new guys in there that we'll need to get used to playing with each other. It's only going to get better from here."
The Moose rematch against Grand Rapids on Saturday, Jan. 15. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. Catch the game on CJOB.com/sports, the Manitoba Moose App. The game is also free to watch with the AHLTV Freeview.
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