Milwaukee Admirals 2 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 OT
Dec. 16, 2017
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Missing nearly 40 percent of their goal scoring from their lineup due to injuries or illness, the Grand Rapids Griffins did everything but win on Saturday, dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to the Milwaukee Admirals at Van Andel Arena.
Bobby Butler made good on the only shot of overtime for either team, leading a 2-on-1 rush into the Griffins’ zone before unleashing a shot from the right circle that glanced off Tom McCollum’s left arm and shoulder before hitting iron on its way into the net 3:25 into the extra session.
With Matt Puempel, Eric Tangradi, Matt Lorito and Turner Elson – the team’s top four point producers entering the weekend – all sidelined, the Griffins outshot the Admirals 32-28, went 1-for-3 on the power play and killed off all six Milwaukee power plays, including 44 seconds of a 5-on-3 plus two 5-on-4 advantages in the third period, the second of which extended into overtime.
Grand Rapids (10-14-1-3) will complete the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule with three road games in as many days, beginning with a Thursday matinee in Chicago at noon EST.
The Griffins surrendered the first goal for the fifth straight game, as Harry Zolnierczyk picked the far corner of McCollum’s net with a shot from the left faceoff dot 5:27 into the opening period.
Matthew Ford answered with a power play tally at 9:02, marking his third goal in two games and sixth point in the last three outings. Tyler Bertuzzi fired a shot wide left of the net that caromed off the end boards, and Ford was waiting by the post to take a backhanded swat at the rebound, banking it off the skate of netminder Anders Lindback and across the line.
Grand Rapids was unable to dent Lindback again while McCollum was nearly as impenetrable on the other end, willing the game to overtime to earn a point despite the Griffins incurring the final four penalties of the night. In the end, Lindback made 31 stops while McCollum had 26 saves.
The Griffins played their fourth straight game without the injured Puempel and Lorito, while Elson missed his sixth consecutive game due to illness. Tangradi was also a scratch after being injured on Friday. Together, the quartet had scored 30 of Grand Rapids’ 81 goals (37%) entering tonight’s action.
Three Stars: 1. MIL Lindback (OTW, 30 saves); 2. MIL Butler (OT goal, assist); 3. GR McCollum (OTL, 25 saves)