Calder Cup Champions - 2013 & 2017
AHL Affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings
Hero Image


Feb 20, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 at Manitoba Moose 5

Feb. 20, 2023

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - The Grand Rapids Griffins’ five-game road win streak was snapped by the Manitoba Moose in a 5-1 loss on Monday at the Canada Life Centre.

Prior to the defeat, the Griffins’ unbeaten streak away from Van Andel Arena was the longest since Feb. 23 - March 19, 2016 when the Griffins won six in a row. After crossing the 100-goal milestone on Sunday, Joel L’Esperance found the back of the net again for his 16th goal of the season. The Brighton, Mich., native leads the team in goals and power-play tallies (nine) thus far. Austin Czarnik and Matt Luff both made the scoresheet with an assist on L’Esperance’s goal as well.

February 20, 2023  ·  3 Minutes

RECAP | MB 5, GR 1 - F

Grand Rapids allowed a pair of goals on Manitoba’s first two shots, starting with Kristian Reichel scoring at 3:25 on a backhanded shot on the doorstep while the Griffins were on a power play. At 9:37, Jared McIsaac attempted to clear the puck up ice from Manitoba’s zone as the Griffins transitioned to offense, but his pass deflected off of a referee's skate. The Moose capitalized, as Axel Jonsson-Fjallby buried a one-timer from the right circle to take a 2-0 lead.

Daniel Torgersson lit the lamp on another Griffin turnover, as Eemil Viro gave up the puck near center ice to allow Torgersson to send a wrister past Alex Nedeljkovic at 3:29 in the second. With 4:16 remaining in the period, L’Esperance tapped in a loose puck in the goalmouth on a power play to cut the deficit to two on a power play. This was the Griffins’ only man-advantage goal in nine attempts against the Moose during the two-game series.

Jeff Malott (3:31) and Tyler Boland (3:05 remaining) each tallied goals in the crease in the third to seal the deal against Grand Rapids and snap its five-game road win streak.

- L’Esperance’s nine power-play goals are tied for sixth in the AHL.
- The Griffins are 2-for-23 on the power play in their last four outings.
- Oskari Salminen had 22 saves and now has 102 stops in four games against Grand Rapids this season (0.962%).

Box Score
Grand Rapids 0 1 0 - 1
Manitoba 2 1 2 - 5

1st Period-1, Manitoba, Reichel 9 (Heinola, Nikkanen), 3:25 (SH). 2, Manitoba, Jonsson-Fjallby 3 (Jones, Meireles), 9:37. Penalties-Polei Mb (slashing), 1:33; Oligny Mb (roughing), 13:26; Erne Gr (tripping), 19:55.

2nd Period-3, Manitoba, Torgersson 7 3:29. 4, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 16 (Luff, Czarnik), 15:44 (PP). Penalties-Jones Mb (delay of game), 14:08.

3rd Period-5, Manitoba, Malott 17 (Nikkanen, Heinola), 3:31. 6, Manitoba, Boland 6 (Torgersson, Nikkanen), 16:55. Penalties-Spezia Gr (slashing), 8:29; Bauer Mb (slashing), 11:00; Viro Gr (delay of game), 18:21.

Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 8-9-6-23. Manitoba 3-15-10-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 4; Manitoba 0 / 3.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic 8-6-2 (28 shots-23 saves). Manitoba, Salminen 14-9-3 (23 shots-22 saves).

Three Stars
1. MB Ville Heinola (two assists); 2. MB Henri Nikkanen (three assists); 3. MB Torgersson (goal, assist).

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 21-24-2-2 (46 pts.) / Fri., Feb. 24 at Manitoba 7 p.m.
Manitoba: 27-16-3-3 (60 pts.) / Thu., Feb. 23 vs. Milwaukee 7 p.m. CST

Photo by the Manitoba Moose