Eric Comrie was outstanding in net stopping 35 of 36 shots for the Moose helping them knock off the Griffins 3-1.
Even with the loss, the Griffins remain on top of the Central Division at 43-22-1-4. The Griffins will face the Moose in a rematch at the MTS Center in Winnipeg on Wednesday night.
The Moose did not have a shot on goal until nearly nine minutes into the game. The Griffins had an early opportunity to take the lead when they found them selves with a 5-on-3 advantage, but could not find the net.
Manitoba did captilize on a power play when Danick Gauther scored to give the Moose a 1-0 lead. Kevin Czuczman’s shot was delfected by Patrice Cormier in front of Coreau and bounced off of his pads, but Gauther was right there to knock home the rebound for the goal.
The Griffins controlled most of the second period outshooting the Moose 15-4 in the middle frame. But it was the Moose scoring the only goal of the period to extend their lead to two goals. Scott Kosmachuk scored on a shot from the right circle that found the inside of the left post. Francis Beauviller was credited with the assist.
Grand Rapids would continue to pepper Comrie. But he was a step ahead of the Griffins making a series of highlight saves. Rookie Axel Holmstrom passed the puck to Martin Frk who fired a shot toward the goal that hit the post. Frk was able to gather his own rebound and fired another laser near Comrie who was able to deny Holmstrom and defenseman Joe Hicketts.
The only Griffins goal came from Matt Lorito on a shorthanded situation. Jared Coreau was on the bench to give Grand Rapids five skaters. Hicketts’ pass near the point hit the stick of Jimmy Lodge before Lorito was able to gather the puck and score inside of the post.
The Griffins called a timeout with :43 seconds left, as they still found themselves shorthanded. Grand Rapids won the faceoff but the puck deflected off of the stick of Matt Ford leading to an empty net goal that would seal the game for Manitoba, 3-1.
Manitoba was able to finish 2-of-3 on the man advantage while the Griffins came up empty on four attempts. Jared Coreau was relatively solid in net stopping 24-of-26 shots.
Both teams are set for the rematch tonight with an 8 p.m. puck drop. This will be the final time these two teams meet this season.