Grand Rapids received goals from four different players and 29 saves from Jimmy Howard en route to a 4-2 victory Wednesday over the Manitoba Moose on opening night at the MTS Center. The Griffins’ line of Mark Cullen, Johan Ryno, and Carl Corazzini factored into two of the four goals, including a power-play tally by Ryno in the 2nd period.
The game marked a rematch of teams who locked horns in playoff series that went the distance in each of the past two years. Grand Rapids won a Game 7 in 2006, but Manitoba turned the tables this past spring.
Corazzini opened the game’s scoring just 5:07 into the game for the Griffins, taking a pass from Cullen and one-timing it past Moose goaltender Drew MacIntyre. Ryno, playing in his first professional game, also picked up an assist on the goal.
Ryno then made it 2-0 at 2:24 of the middle stanza when he received a pass from Cullen in the slot and quickly slapped it home before MacIntyre could recover. Corazzini received credit for an assist on the play as well, joining his linemates with multiple points in the game.
Jimmy Sharrow and Shaun Heshka tallied goals for the Moose, who managed only Sharrow’s goal over the first two periods despite outshooting the Griffins by a 27-15 margin during that time. Manitoba finished with a 31-23 advantage in shots.
The Moose and Griffins are both idle on Friday before suiting up for a rematch at the MTS Center on Saturday evening.