GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 at Cleveland Monsters 4
March 7, 2023
CLEVELAND - The Grand Rapids Griffins’ late push was denied in a 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Monsters on Tuesday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
Matt Luff tallied the lone goal on a power play for Grand Rapids, sparking a late run in the final period where Grand Rapids outshot Cleveland 11-9, but the Griffins fell short after an empty-netter sealed the defeat. Luff’s goal was his sixth of the year and the third since returning from injury on Jan. 28. Simon Edvinsson also recorded an assist and now ranks fifth among rookie defenseman in points and assists (5-21-26) in the AHL.
Cleveland tacked on two goals in the first on the behalf of some misfortune for the Griffins. Trey Fix-Wolansky’s shot was initially saved by Alex Nedeljkovic, but the puck soared in the air behind the netminder and slid in at 14:35 to sound the horn. While Grand Rapids was on a power play, Tyler Angle sped down the ice on a breakaway and scored short-handed on the doorstep with 1:15 to go for a 2-0 lead.
The Monsters lit the lamp a third time to start the second, as Yegor Chinakhov sent a shot under the left pad of Nedeljkovic and inside the right post on a power play at 1:12. The Griffins had a chance to cut the lead on a power play beginning at 2:48, but Grand Rapids could only muster one shot from Jared McIsaac that deflected off the glove of Daniil Tarasov as the man-advantage opportunity expired.
On a power play at 7:57, Luff’s shot from the right circle soared over the catching glove of Tarasov to cut the deficit to two. With 4:08 remaining, the Griffins pulled Nedeljkovic while on a power play to hold a two-man advantage. Grand Rapids could not find the back of the net, allowing Cleveland and Owen Sillinger to cap off the night with an empty-netter at 18:35 for the win.
- The Griffins were without Elmer Soderblom, Albert Johansson, Brian Lashoff and Chase Pearson for the game.
- Grand Rapids drops to 6-3-0-0 in its last nine-road outings.
Grand Rapids 0 0 1 - 1
Cleveland 2 1 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Cleveland, Fix-Wolansky 25 (Chinakhov), 14:35. 2, Cleveland, Angle 8 (Ahcan), 18:45 (SH). Penalties-L’Esperance Gr (hooking), 15:17; Payne Cle (goaltender interference), 17:05; Spezia Gr (slashing), 19:44.
2nd Period-3, Cleveland, Chinakhov 2 (Fix-Wolansky, Richards), 1:12 (PP). Penalties-Fonstad Cle (hooking), 2:48; Kampfer Gr (interference), 13:00.
3rd Period-4, Grand Rapids, Luff 6 (Edvinsson, Andreasson), 7:57 (PP). 5, Cleveland, Sillinger 10 (Ahcan), 18:35 (EN). Penalties-Angle Cle (double minor - high-sticking), 6:12; Sillinger Cle (hooking), 15:58.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 11-5-11-27. Cleveland 14-8-9-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 5; Cleveland 1 / 3.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic 9-8-2 (30 shots-27 saves). Cleveland, Tarasov 4-5-0 (27 shots-26 saves).
1. CLE Chinakhov (goal, assist); 2. CLE Fix-Wolansky (goal, assist); 3. CLE Angle (goal).
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 22-27-4-2 (50 pts.) / Fri., March 10 vs. Rockford 7 p.m.
Cleveland: 24-25-4-2 (54 pts.) / Sat., March 11 at Grand Rapids 7 p.m.
Photo by Cleveland Monsters