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March Madness

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 at Cleveland Monsters 3 (OT)

March 16, 2023

CLEVELAND - Dominik Shine scored the game-winner in overtime to propel the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-3 win against the Cleveland Monsters on Thursday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Shine’s heroics have placed the Griffins within eight points of a playoff spot with a game in hand against the Iowa Wild. The goal was his 50th as pro as well as the 100th point of his professional career. Danny O’Regan continued his blistering stretch of play with his point streak reaching four games (2-3-5). In his last 13 outings, the veteran forward has 15 points and only two appearances without adding a point to the ledger (6-9-15). Taro Hirose continues to move up the all-time assist leaderboard for Grand Rapids with one in the win and nine apples in as many outings. Hirose is currently seventh on the list with 119 assists and is only three helpers away from tying Nathan Paetsch for sixth.

3-16-23 | Highlights | Cleveland Monsters

Cleveland struck first at 3:54 in the opening period, as Josh Dunne rifled a shot from the left circle past the catching glove of Alex Nedeljkovic (W, 23 saves). Austin Czarnik wasted little time tying the game back up, lighting the lamp at 6:17 from the top of the right circle. His one-timer flew through traffic and slipped between the pads of Jet Greaves for his 14th goal of the season. O’Regan nearly took the lead for the Griffins on a breakaway by shooting a backhander from the crease, but Greaves batted away the shot at 14:46.

After nearly scoring in the first, O’Regan got on the scoreboard with a power-play goal at 10:10 in the second by shooting past the outstretched left pad of Greaves to take the lead. The tally is the sixth-consecutive game with a man-advantage goal for Grand Rapids and its eighth during that span. The Monsters recorded a power-play goal of their own with 3:08 to go, as Dunne buried his second of the night.

Riley Sawchuk posted his second goal of the season at 14:23 in the final frame, spinning and firing a shot over the left shoulder of Greaves and into the top shelf on the doorstep. Marcus Bjork quickly responded with 3:01 remaining after his shot ricocheted off the left skate of Nedeljkovic and into the cage to send the game to overtime.

At 2:16 in the extra session, the Griffins broke away on an odd-man rush. Jared McIsaac split two defenders with his pass to find Shine, who used a backhanded shot to beat Greaves and secure two points for Grand Rapids.

- The Griffins are unbeaten in regulation in their last four matchups (3-0-0-1).
- O’Regan’s power-play tally was his 300th professional point.
- Hirose’s assist on O’Regan’s goal was his 50th point of the campaign.

Box Score
Grand Rapids 1 1 1 1 - 4
Cleveland 1 1 1 0 - 3

1st Period-1, Cleveland, Dunne 18 (Luoto, Whelan), 3:54. 2, Grand Rapids, Czarnik 14 (Bliss), 6:17. Penalties-Edvinsson Gr (tripping), 10:32.

2nd Period-3, Grand Rapids, O’Regan 12 (L’Esperance, Hirose), 10:10 (PP). 4, Cleveland, Dunne 19 (Chinakhov, Fix-Wolansky), 16:52 (PP). Penalties-Viro Gr (interference), 0:59; Miller Cle (interference), 10:00; Lashoff Gr (tripping), 15:29; Sebrango Gr (roughing), 15:29; Sweezey Cle (roughing), 15:29.

3rd Period-5, Grand Rapids, Sawchuk 2 (Weatherby, Spezia), 14:23. 6, Cleveland, Bjork 6 (Jiricek, Fix-Wolansky), 16:59. Penalties-Tyutyayev Gr (high-sticking), 2:15; Miller Cle (high-sticking), 9:41; Miller Cle (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:41; Angle Cle (high-sticking), 17:44.

OT Period-7, Grand Rapids, Shine 13 (McIsaac, Weatherby), 2:16. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 13-6-11-3-33. Cleveland 9-11-6-0-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 4; Cleveland 1 / 4.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic 12-8-3 (26 shots-23 saves). Cleveland, Greaves 13-11-5 (33 shots-29 saves).

Three Stars
1. GR O’Regan (goal); 2. GR Sawchuk (goal); 3. CLE Dunne (two goals).

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 25-27-4-3 (57 pts.) / Sat., March 18 at Milwaukee 7 p.m.
Cleveland: 25-25-5-2 (57 pts.) / Sat., March 18 vs Belleville 7 p.m.

Photo by the Cleveland Monsters

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