03/02/2008 6:53 PM
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Carl Corazzini and Mark Cullen both had four-point outings to lift the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Lake Erie Monsters on Sunday afternoon at Van Andel Arena.
The Griffins (25-29-2-5), owners of back-to-back wins for the first time since Feb. 2-8, moved within 12 points of third-place Hamilton in the playoff race. They’ll try to make it three straight victories for the first time since mid-January when they host the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Lake Erie (20-28-4-7) jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the opening period. Dan DaSilva tallied at 5:59, just 30 seconds after the Griffins had killed off a Monsters power play, and T.J. Hensick added the second at 7:48, sliding one past Jimmy Howard during another advantage.
The Griffins responded with a 5-on-3 tally at 13:38, when Cullen received a pass from Garrett Stafford and ripped a shot into the lower left corner from the high slot. But the Monsters regained a two-goal advantage before the intermission off a power play goal by Eric Healey at 16:38.
With Adam Berkhoel entering for Grand Rapids at the start of the second period due to an injury to Howard, the Griffins came out flying and quickly rattled off three goals to earn a 4-3 lead. The first came only 23 ticks in when Kyle Quincey blasted a shot from the right circle that rebounded directly to Darren Helm, who snapped the favorable bounce by Tyler Weiman.
At 1:01, Corazzini crashed the net to tap in a bouncing puck that had fallen behind Weiman after Mattias Ritola launched the initial shot. The same pair hooked up for the Griffins’ fourth goal at 4:57, as Corazzini sent a centering pass to the slot that went off Ritola’s skate and into the goal. That goal chased Weimen from the Monsters’ crease and ushered in Jason Bacashihua in relief.
Despite the huge shift in momentum during the second period, the teams were deadlocked at four entering the final stanza. Jamie Lundmark broke into the Griffins’ zone all alone and fooled Berkhoel with a deke before roofing a backhander at 13:36.
Having already added another installment of his notorious bouts with Mitch Love earlier in the game, Jamie Tardif contributed offensively just 2:08 into the third by tipping Evan McGrath’s shot over Bacashihua to give Grand Rapids a 5-4 lead. Stafford delivered the final blow at 13:20, sending a laser over Basashihua’s shoulder after collecting Corazzini’s rebound at the top of the circles. The assist gave Corazzini the first four-point night of his professional career.
In a game that saw four different goalies take to the blue paint, Grand Rapids peppered the Lake Erie netminders with 40 shots while the Monsters could only answer with 29.