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A MONSTER FINISH


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Mark Cullen’s power play goal with just 39 seconds remaining completed a riveting Wednesday night comeback for the Grand Rapids Griffins, who rallied with three unanswered goals over the final 21 minutes to claim a 3-2 win over the Lake Erie Monsters at Van Andel Arena.

With the victory, the Griffins’ second straight on home ice and their first this season when trailing after two periods, Grand Rapids has earned points in six of its last eight games (4-2-1-1).

The Griffins (9-12-1-2) will continue their six-game home stand this Friday by hosting the Syracuse Crunch in a special 6:30 p.m. start time, as the AHL game will be followed by a renewal of the college rivalry between Calvin and Hope.

Following a scoreless opening period, former Griffin Brent Kelly provided the spark to give the visiting Monsters (7-13-0-2) the lead 3:26 into the second frame. From just above the right goal line, he took a shot that Jimmy Howard turned aside, but J.D. Corbin crashed the net to gobble up the rebound and score his first AHL goal. Kelly then made it a 2-0 game exactly 10 minutes later, speeding in on a breakaway and beating Howard with a backhand.

The Griffins answered with 28 ticks remaining in the period to cut their second-intermission deficit to one. Working hard to control the puck along the end boards moments after being sprung from the penalty box, Jamie Tardif spun around the right post and stuffed a backhand between the pads of Tyler Weiman for his fourth goal in the last five games.

Just 49 seconds into the third, the Griffins tied matters at two thanks to Carl Corazzini, who snapped a wicked shot from the left circle that slipped through traffic and sailed into the top of the Monsters’ net.

Grand Rapids was presented a five-minute power play when Cody McLeod was whistled off for high-sticking Jakub Kindl at 3:17, but the Griffins were unable to capitalize on their prime opportunity. Their power play unit was given a chance at redemption in the waning minutes of the period, getting 59 seconds of 5-on-3 time thanks to Lake Erie penalties at the 17:14 and 18:05 marks. The first penalty expired without harm to the Monsters, but Cullen helped Corazzini and Mark Hartigan cap off two-point nights by slipping a shot inside the near post from the right circle seven seconds into the ensuing 5-on-4 advantage.

Howard followed his 22-save shutout on Sunday with a solid 20-stop performance, while Weiman suffered the loss despite denying 36 shots.

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2 3
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Official Game Report

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