The Amerks were shutout 3-0 against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday evening at the Blue Cross Arena. The first period was decent with great plays on each side of the ice, unfortunately the game became a snooze fest if you were an Amerks fan.
This was a different team than we saw the two previous nights. They won the game on Friday night with great passing and scoring. On Saturday night they fought Syracuse right until the end of the game. Tonight was only 20 minutes of hockey, similar to what we saw last season.
No one was happy with the way the game went tonight. You know it’s a bad night when fans in the balcony start chanting “boring.”
I think the only person who really played hard all night for the Amerks was goaltender David Shantz.
Darren McCarty scored the first goal of the game at 10:15 of the second period and as it turned out the only goal that really mattered. Tom Galvin had taken a shot from the point that Shantz was able to make the initial pad save. The puck didn’t go very far on the rebound there and Justin Abdelkader was able to take a wack at the puck and then McCarty hit it a second time into a wide open net.
Darren Haydar scored the Griffins second goal of the game at 13:10 of the second period on the power play with a text book shot from the face off circle to the left of Shantz. Garrett Stafford passed the puck to Haydar who was able to walk right in on Shantz. Haydar could have taken another stride or two which shows how much room he had.
Francis Pare scored the third goal for the Griffins at 17:52 of the third period to really put the nail in the coffin. Shantz wasn’t able to cover the puck up, it was pushed out into the slot and Pare was waiting to put it over Shantz who was down on the ice.
“It sucks, it’s a bit upsetting,” Shawn Matthias said.
Neither Benoit Groulx or Jason Cipolla took time to talk to the media after the game. Groulx sent a message via a third person to say, “no comment.” The no show probably goes along with the old saying that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all.
Karl Stewart summed up the last week of the season by saying, “Just try to win hockey games. Guys are playing for contracts. Guys are playing to be black aces at the end of the year if Florida makes the playoffs. Theres always something to play for. Theres never nothing to play for. Everyone might have there own individual reasons to play next weekend, hopefully collectively that will result in wins.”
“There’s three games left, you want to have three strong games to carry it into the summer and carry it into next year. It’s no fun losing. We don’t want to lose the last three, especially our last home game,” Shawn Matthias said after the game.
We’ll have to see what team shows up over these last three games.