WINNIPEG, Manitoba - With a 4-1 win over the Manitoba Moose at Bell MTS Place on Thursday night, the Grand Rapids Griffins recorded their third straight win — both overall and on the road — and pushed their point streak to five games (4-0-0-1).
Grand Rapids is now 6-5-0-1 and has six straight wins against Manitoba (6-6-0-0) in regular season games. The win was propelled by three third-period goals and a one-timer from Filip Hronek in the second frame that ended the Griffins’ four-game power play drought.
Grand Rapids will close out the two-game series in Winnipeg on Saturday, facing off with the Moose at 7 p.m. EST.
Despite a power play opportunity for Manitoba early in the opening frame off a Christoffer Ehn slashing penalty, the first goal was not scored until 14:17. Logan Stanley took a shot near the blue line, and even though goaltender Patrik Rybar blocked it initially, the puck bounced off and trickled behind him to give the Moose a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless power play for the Griffins late in the frame, Filip Hronek was issued a penalty at 19:17 for Grand Rapids to close out the first period and begin the second down a man. However, the Griffins’ penalty kill remained unfazed throughout the night and finished 4-for-4.
At 7:50 in the frame, Manitoba’s Skyler McKenzie was called for hooking, sending the Griffins to the power play. With 35 seconds remaining in the opportunity, Filip Zadina set up Hronek for a one-timer with a pass from the boards, notching the second period’s lone goal.
It was not until 9:56 in the third frame that the 1-1 knot was broken. Chris Terry, Grand Rapids’ goal-scoring leader, deflected the puck past Manitoba goaltender Eric Comrie off a Matt Puempel shot to put the Griffins up, 2-1.
Moments later, Comrie robbed Grand Rapids of a third goal when Dylan Sadowy attempted a shot during a 2-on-1 with Matt Ford. Comrie stuffed the shot, keeping the Moose within one.
However, Puempel scored a goal of his own when he received a pass from Terry that enabled another 2-on-1. With 6:44 remaining in the frame, Puempel beat Comrie with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot to give the the Griffins a one-goal cushion.
Terry notched his second goal of the night and seventh of the season when he corralled the puck in Grand Rapids’ zone just moments after Manitoba pulled Comrie. Terry sent the puck down the ice for an empty-net goal at 16:38, solidifying the final score of 4-1.
Rybar collected 26 saves for the win while Comrie tallied 35.
Notes: The Griffins finished 1-for-5 on the power play and tallied a season-high 39 shots on the night...Tonight’s matchup with the Moose was the first of eight this season, with four games hosted by each team...Hronek tallied his first goal for the Griffins this season and his 13th career goal for the franchise in his career.
Three Stars: 1. GR Puempel (goal, assist); 2. MB Comrie (35 saves); 3. GR Rybar (26 saves)