AHL Game Recap: Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Manitoba Moose (03/20/2024)

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The Manitoba Moose welcomed the Grand Rapids Griffins back to the Canada Life Centre for game two of a back-to-back. This is Grand Rapids and Manitoba’s final meeting for the 2023-24 regular season. The Moose headed into this game with a four-game winning streak and held a win-loss record of 9-1-0 in their previous ten games. Manitoba currently holds an eight-point lead over the Chicago Wolves for the final playoff spot in the Central Division standings.

Did you miss the game? We got you covered! Read about it below!

Griffins Keep Manitoba Scoreless, Kill Three Penalties in the First Period

Both teams started slow, but Manitoba found an early edge in the shot column, leading 5-1 at one point. Grand Rapids wouldn’t let this hamper them as they would find a rather weird touch leading to Zach Aston-Reese picking up the loose puck on the breakaway to give the Griffins an early one-goal lead. Manitoba would get three power-play opportunities throughout the first period, none of which they would score on.

Late in the first, Tyrel Bauer would be called for high-sticking, 50 seconds later, Dominic Toninato joined him in the box. The 70-second 5-on-3 advantage for Grand Rapids was shut down by Manitoba, giving the Moose lots of momentum as they headed into the second period down a goal.

Griffins Keep Manitoba at Bay, Lead 2-1 at the End of 40

After four minutes of nothing, Manitoba got their fourth power-play chance, but the Griffins stuck strong and denied the Moose a power-play goal. Shortly after the Griffins killed the penalty, Elmer Soderblom took to the chaos in front of the net and scored the insurance marker for the Griffins. Manitoba being down 2-0 was not a good look at all as the period progressed. However, on a delayed penalty to Grand Rapids, Thomas Milic skated to the bench for the extra attacker and in three separate sequences, Jeff Malott cut the Griffins’ lead in half.

This was enough for the Moose to go on significant pushes throughout the remainder of the period, but nothing materialized. Heading into the third period, it was a crucial game that they needed to take control of the second they hit the ice for the third period.

Griffins Secure the Victory, Defeat Moose 4-1

Just when you thought the Moose had a strong push on their hands after Malott’s goal, the Griffins pushed forward and made sure they restored their two-goal lead. A goal by Brogan Rafferty all but sealed the deal and the constant pushing and shoving around the goaltenders only added more bite to the game. Matt Luff would secure the empty net goal to give the Grand Rapids Griffins a 4-1 victory over the Manitoba Moose.

Post-Game Comments, Ashton Sautner and Assistant Coach Nolan Baumgartner

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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