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MOOSE RENDERED MOOT


WINNIPEG, Manitoba
– Jimmy Howard posted 29 saves to lift the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-2 victory over the Manitoba Moose Thursday at the MTS Centre.

The win marks the third time in the past four seasons that the Griffins have opened the season 2-0 and the sixth time in the past eight years that Grand Rapids has won their first two road contests.

Grand Rapids will take the ice in Manitoba again on Saturday to face the Moose at 8:30 p.m. EDT.

The Griffins scored the first period’s only goal at 5:07 as Johan Ryno sparked a breakaway from Manitoba territory, finding Mark Cullen streaking ahead. With a two-on-one situation, Cullen dropped a backhand pass to Carl Corazzini, who fired a laser from the left wing past the right shoulder of Drew MacIntyre.

Grand Rapids came out blazing in the second period, as Ryno scored a power play goal on the Griffins’ first shot of the middle frame at 2:24. Corazzini took a pass from Cullen at the left circle and charged hard to the net, drawing MacIntyre’s attention. Corazzini slid a deft backhand for Ryno onto the doorstep, where a wide-open goal mouth awaited. 

At 10:58 in the second period, Evan McGrath unleashed a shot from atop the left circle that MacIntyre was unable to corral, and Brett Engelhardt pounded the rebound home for a 3-0 Grand Rapids lead. Minutes later, Manitoba capitalized on a two-man advantage at 14:18 when Jimmy Sharrow found the mesh from the slot, closing the score to 3-1.

The second-period scoring continued at 17:33 when a Mark Hartigan slap shot brought MacIntyre outside the crease. MacIntyre stopped the initial shot, but Randall Gelech gobbled up the rebound in front of the goaltender and poked it just inside the left goalpost to give the Griffins a 4-1 edge. Shaun Heshka provided the night’s final goal at 16:56 of the third period to bring the final tally to 4-2 in Grand Rapids’ favor.

Howard earned the victory on the strength of 29 saves, including 13 in each of the first two periods. MacIntyre posted 19 saves for Manitoba.

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3 4 5
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