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HITTING THE ROAD ON A HIGH NOTE


CLEVELAND – Darren Haydar
and Francis Pare scored two third-period goals in the span of 1:41 to lead the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 3-2 comeback win over the Lake Erie Monsters at the Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday. The win marked the first game of a franchise-record eight-game road trip for Grand Rapids.

Pare’s 22nd goal of the campaign ties him with teammate Justin Abdelkader for the Griffins’ all-time record for goals by a rookie. Jimmy Howard stopped 24 shots to pick up his 19th win of the season, while Tyler Weiman turned aside 23 chances in the losing effort. The win concluded the eight-game season series between the two teams, with the Griffins (41-18-6-6) compiling a 4-2-1-1 record.

Grand Rapids controlled the first period, out-shooting the Monsters by a 13-6 margin. Weiman stopped all 13 shots and had some help, as both Ryan Oulahen and Garrett Stafford rang shots off the goal posts.

The Griffins scored the first goal of the game 3:29 into the second period on Ville Leino’s 15th tally of the campaign. Aaron Gagnon broke up the left side on an odd-man rush and fed a cross-ice pass to Leino, whose shot went off the stick of a Monsters’ defender and into the top-right corner of the net.

At the 8:24 mark of the second, Matt Hendricks took a drop pass in the high slot and skated in on Howard before going to his backhand and slipping the puck inside the left goal post to tie the game at 1-1. The Monsters took their first lead just 51 seconds into the third period when Ray Macias let a shot go from the right point that Per Ledin redirected past Howard.

With 11:44 remaining in the game, Leino picked up a loose puck after Darren Helm was taken hard into the end boards and skated in alone on Weiman. Leino drew the goaltender toward the left post before sending the puck to the opposite post, where a waiting Haydar touched it into the cage to tie the game. Just 1:41 after the Haydar goal, Francis Lemieux handled the puck behind the net and sent a pass to the slot to Pare, who snapped a wrister home to put the Griffins back in front, 3-2.

The Griffins’ road trip will continue on Wednesday, March 25, with a game against the Wilkesbarre-Scranton Penguins. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
 
Three Stars: 1. GR Leino (Goal, assist); 2. GR Pare (GW goal); 3. LE Dupuis (2 assists) 
 

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Official Game Report


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