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Shine Bright Like a Diamond

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 6 vs. Cleveland Monsters 2

Feb. 25, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins secured a 6-2 win over the Cleveland Monsters on the behalf of Dominik Shine’s pair of goals on Saturday at Van Andel Arena.

Shine had his first two-goal outing of the season, tallying back-to-back scores in the second. The veteran forward is riding a two-game goal streak and has 11 total on the season (11-6–17). 11 skaters for Grand Rapids posted a point or more, including Joel L’Esperance, who has scored in four-consecutive fixtures (4-2–6).

2-25-23 | Highlights | Cleveland Monsters

The Monsters’ power-play unit was humming in the opening frame, starting at 6:14 with a man-advantage goal from Josh Dunne in the slot. Off of L’Esperance’s shot, Albert Johansson was able to find the back of the net at 14:13 with a nifty backhander past a diving Pavel Cajan to tie the game. Cleveland finished the period going 2-for-2 on the power play, as Trey Fix-Wolansky buried a one-timer with 1:44 remaining to take a 2-1 lead.

Shine recorded back-to-back goals off turnovers in the second frame, starting at 3:11 on a breakaway by rifling a shot into the top shelf. The Detroit, Mich., native was returned for more with 5:07 left, firing a wrister just inside the left post for a 3-2 advantage. Less than a minute later, Elmer Soderblom broke away up ice and slid the puck between the pads of Cajan to light the lamp at 15:48. The Monsters then made a change in goal, subbing Cajan for Jet Greaves.

On a power play at 4:33, L’Esperance bagged his 18th goal of the year and his 10th power-play tally with a one-timer into the top shelf. L’Esperance is tied for fifth (Martin Frk) in the AHL in power-play goals this season. To cap off the night, Simon Edvinsson added an empty-netter with 2:55 left.

- Alex Nedeljkovic shook off allowing two goals in the first and finished the night with 32 saves on 34 shots.
- Tonight's win is tied for the largest margin of victory of the season for Grand Rapids (Feb. 3 at Texas and Dec. 7 vs. Iowa).
- The Griffins are 16-5-1-0 against Cleveland in the past two seasons.

2-25-23 | Post-Game Interviews | Cleveland Monsters

Box Score
Cleveland 2 0 0 - 2
Grand Rapids 1 3 2 - 6

1st Period-1, Cleveland, Dunne 16 (Christiansen, Jiricek), 6:14 (PP). 2, Grand Rapids, Johansson 4 (L’Esperance, Hirose), 14:13. 3, Cleveland, Fix-Wolansky 22 (Jiricek, Richards), 18:16 (PP). Penalties-Christiansen Cle (holding), 3:13; Erne Gr (cross-checking), 5:38; Soderblom Gr (tripping), 17:19; Dunne Cle (high-sticking), 19:30; Richards Cle (hooking), 19:48.

2nd Period-4, Grand Rapids, Shine 10 3:11. 5, Grand Rapids, Shine 11 (Barton, Spezia), 14:53. 6, Grand Rapids, Soderblom 5 (O’Regan, Viro), 15:48. Penalties-Hirose Gr (slashing), 16:39.

3rd Period-7, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 18 (McIsaac, Hirose), 4:33 (PP). 8, Grand Rapids, Edvinsson 5 (McIsaac, L’Esperance), 17:05 (EN). Penalties-Andreasson Gr (boarding), 1:31; Christiansen Cle (holding), 2:41; Andreasson Gr (slashing), 6:35; O’Regan Gr (hooking), 14:07.

Shots on Goal-Cleveland 10-6-18-34. Grand Rapids 9-13-9-31.=
Power Play Opportunities-Cleveland 2 / 6; Grand Rapids 1 / 4.
Goalies-Cleveland, Cajan 7-8-2 (18 shots-14 saves); Greaves 11-11-4 (12 shots-11 saves). Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic 9-6-2 (34 shots-32 saves).

Three Stars
1. GR Shine (two goals); 2. GR L’Esperance (goal, two assists); 3. GR Soderblom (goal).

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 22-24-3-2 (49 pts.) / Wed., March 1 vs. Chicago 7 p.m.
Cleveland: 22-23-4-2 (50 pts.) / Wed., March 1 at Syracuse 7 p.m.

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins

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