The Admirals lost badly in Grand Rapids Saturday night. The Griffins shutout the Ads 5-0 in large credit to a four-point night for Cory Emmerton. As bad as that scoreline sounds this game could have been a completely different story if the Ads capitalized on their power-play, which went 0-9. If you ask me, the Ads really can’t get out of the state of Michigan fast enough.
This game started off with a taste of last night’s game in mind. Mike Liambas dropped the gloves with ex-Admiral Jordin Tootoo. It’ll be great to get the video highlights of this one. Sounded like it ended in a draw, but –as fighting goes– these two would match up nicely. The fight took place less than thirty-seconds into the game.
The Griffins response off the fight was swift. The defending Calder Cup champs popped in two-goals on three shots in the opening 5:22 of the first period. The first goal came from Cory Emmerton who snapped a shot into the top shelf past Ads starting goalie Magnus Hellberg. The second goal came just 2:24 later when Calle Jarnkrok beat the glove of Hellberg to make it a fast 2-0 Griffins lead.
Round II between Liambas and Tootoo took place 10:28 after their opening fight. This one sounded a bit more lively than the first tussle. A few good blows were landed for both and ended with a Liambas take down.
In the second period the Griffins were able to score two more goals to make it 4-0. Landon Ferraro deflected a low wrist shot from the point by Alexey Marchenko for the third goal of the game. Next came a shorthanded effort by Emmerton for his second goal of the game. The shorthanded rush started with Landon Ferraro who fed the puck over to Emmerton who beat Hellberg to push the gap between the two sides miles beyond reach. This was the sixth shorthanded goal allowed by the Admirals this season.
After Mark Van Guilder went to the box, the Ads had their best opportunity to score a goal on a shorthanded breakaway. The man on the shorthanded attack was Kevin Henderson who went for a backhanded effort. The shot was denied by Tom McCollum and it may have been the biggest save of the thirty-one he posted in his shutout performance.
Moments right after the chance for Henderson, the Ads were lucky to avoid yet another Griffins goal thanks in part to a quick whistle. Pulkkinen managed to poke the puck past Hellberg but the referees had already blown play dead. Despite the lamp being lit, the goal horn blasting, and fans going bananers the goal was waved off nearly as fast as the puck crossed the line. Perhaps a bit of a mercy whistle on the officials part.
For good measure, the Griffins added a power-play goal late in the third period to make it a 5-0 final score. The goal went to Pulkkinen and an assist went to Cory Emmerton – giving him a four-point night (two goals, two assists).
The game finished off with a fight between Joonas Jarvinen and Brennan Evans. The fight was a slow one. They do match up like heavy weights compared to Liambas versus Tootoo. While this game was a rough one for the Ads – the team showing its grit throughout these two games in Grand Rapids said a lot about their physical playing attitude. The last time they came into Grand Rapids, ahead of these two games, was a 5-0 loss where the Ads were skated circles around. The tempo was set in yesterday’s tilt with three fights. Tonight, there were another three fights. They might not have shown up tonight offensively but the Ads are in no way a team to be walked over. Despite a rough set with the Griffins – at least there is some major fight shown by everyone on the team.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Thoughts on these two games in Grand Rapids? What is it about playing the Griffins that brings out the worst in the Ads? Is this a let down performance by Magnus Hellberg or more-so the team in front of him? What happened to the Admirals power-play that looked back in stride during the games at home against the Barons?