GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 vs. Cleveland Monsters 3 (SO)
March 11, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Cleveland Monsters in a 3-2 shootout defeat on Saturday at Van Andel Arena.
Victor Brattstrom made 34 saves on 36 shots prior to suffering an injury with 23 seconds left in overtime, including seven saves in the extra session. Matt Luff extended his point streak to four games with a 5-on-3 goal in the second. Since returning from injury on Jan. 28, Luff has 14 points (4-10-14) in 19 outings. Danny O’Regan added two assists to the scoresheet, pushing him to 13 points in the last 11 games (4-9-13).
It was a netminder duel in the opening frame, with Brattstrom and Jet Greaves saving 26-combined shots. The Griffins had the best scoring chance while on a power play for the final 44 seconds of the stanza, as O’Regan and Luff’s shots from the right circle were narrowly saved by Greaves as time expired in the period.
Grand Rapids and Cleveland traded 5-on-3 goals in the second frame to break the scoring drought from the first. Luff lit the lamp initially, as he skated in the slot and fired a shot past the catching glove of Greaves at 14:06. Yegor Chinakov responded with 3:45 to go with a missile of a one-timer into the top shelf to tie the contest at one apiece heading into the third.
On a power play at 3:56 in the final period, O’Regan’s shot from just inside the left circle bounced off of Joel L’Esperance’s skate and in to take a 2-1 lead. The goal was L’Esperance’s 13th power-play tally of the year, tying him in third place in the AHL. Jake Christiansen’s shot that tipped over Brattstrom and crossed the goal line at 8:05 knotted the game at 2-2 and eventually sent it to overtime.
After Brattstrom made seven-heroic saves in the extra session, he was replaced by Alex Nedeljkovic with 23 seconds remaining after the Swede suffered an injury.
In the shootout, Trey Fix-Wolanksy and Chinakov buried their attempts while Taro Hirose’s and Luff’s shots both soared wide of the cage to secure a victory for Cleveland.
- In games decided by one goal, Grand Rapids is 13-1-4-3.
- O'Regan is in third place in points by a Griffin skater this season with 37 (10-27-37).
- With an assist, Simon Edvinsson is fifth among AHL-rookie defensemen in assists.
Cleveland 0 1 1 0 - 3
Grand Rapids 0 1 1 0 - 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Spezia Gr (tripping), 6:44; Fix-Wolansky Cle (hooking), 19:16.
2nd Period-1, Grand Rapids, Luff 7 (Edvinsson, O’Regan), 14:06 (PP). 2, Cleveland, Chinakhov 3 (Jiricek, Fix-Wolansky), 16:15 (PP). Penalties-Edvinsson Gr (tripping), 8:00; Luoto Cle (slashing), 8:22; Christiansen Cle (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:17; Richards Cle (holding), 13:35; L’Esperance Gr (roughing), 14:48; Edvinsson Gr (tripping), 15:45.
3rd Period-3, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 21 (O’Regan, Hirose), 3:56 (PP). 4, Cleveland, Christiansen 7 (Chinakhov, Fix-Wolansky), 8:05. Penalties-Sillinger Cle (charging), 2:23; Richards Cle (hooking), 10:14.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Cleveland 2 (Fix-Wolansky G, Chinakhov G), Grand Rapids 0 (Hirose NG, Luff NG).
Shots on Goal-Cleveland 14-7-8-7-1-37. Grand Rapids 12-9-15-2-0-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Cleveland 1 / 4; Grand Rapids 2 / 6.
Goalies-Cleveland, Greaves 13-11-4 (38 shots-36 saves). Grand Rapids, Brattstrom 4-8-3 (36 shots-34 saves); Nedeljkovic 10-8-3 (0 shots-0 saves).
1. CLE Fix-Wolansky (two assists); 2. GR Chinakov (goal, assist); 3. GR O’Regan (two assists).
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 23-27-4-3 (53 pts.) / Sun., March 12 at Chicago 4 p.m. EDT
Cleveland: 25-25-4-2 (56 pts.) / Thu., March 16 vs. Grand Rapids 7 p.m.
Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins