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MONSTERS CLAW PAST GRIFFINS


CLEVELAND
– Brad Richardson scored a goal and added three assists to lead the Lake Erie Monsters to a 5-3 comeback victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Grand Rapids (26-31-2-5) held a 3-1 lead after two periods, but the Monsters (21-29-4-7) stormed back with four goals in the final frame. The loss marked just the second time this season that the Griffins failed to put away a game in which they held the lead after two periods. Grand Rapids returns to Van Andel Arena to face the Toronto Marlies Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Lake Erie netminder Mike Wall stopped Mark Cullen’s drive from the left point on the game’s first power play and denied Mattias Ritola’s rebound attempt, but Garrett Stafford persisted on the sequence and put Grand Rapids on the board at 2:06. Moments later, a scramble around the Griffins’ goal mouth led to Chris Stewart’s equalizer at 3:38.

The Griffins climbed back on top when Francis Lemieux’s pass from the corner set up a one-timer by Evan McGrath, who sent the shot from the left wing sailing over Wall’s shoulder at 9:23 for a 2-1 advantage. Seconds after Jakub Kindl broke up a Lake Erie 3-on-1 chance later in the first, the Griffins made good on an odd-man rush of their own at 15:49 as Darren Helm found Jamie Tardif charging behind the defense. Tardif received the pass just outside the crease to Wall’s left and went upstairs to push the count to 3-1 in the Griffins’ favor.

The wide-open style of play on display in the first period did not carry over to the second as both defenses clamped down for a scoreless period. Lake Erie was awarded a penalty shot at 11:44, but Jimmy Howard forced J.D. Corbin to shoot wide to preserve the Griffins’ two-goal lead.

The third period, however, saw the Monsters stage a huge rally with four special teams goals. In the midst of a Grand Rapids power play, Corbin corralled the puck and zipped a pass up ice to Richardson, who walked in for a shorthanded breakaway goal at 3:56. Minutes later on a Lake Erie power play, Dan DaSilva set up on the doorstep for Richardson’s crossing pass from the lower right circle and found the twine at 7:12 to knot the score at three. The Monsters grabbed their first lead of the contest on the eventual game-winner at 14:22 with a 5-on-3 power play as Jeff Jillson sent a blazing slap shot past Howard. Another two-man advantage for Lake Erie resulted in a Johnny Boychuk goal at 16:08 to seal the game.

Wall notched 42 saves to pick up the win, while Howard stopped 32 shots for the Griffins.


Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3 4
Official Game Report


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