Griffins Clip Monsters in Shootout

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – In the eighth of 12 meetings between the two teams this season, Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters were defeated by the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI in a shootout by a final score of 4-3. With the shootout loss, the Monsters are 18-12-2-3 overall this season and with a .586 points percentage, remain alone in fifth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

The Griffins claimed a 1-0 lead on Saturday when Eric Tangradi tallied his team-leading 16th of the season at 7:37 of the opening period. Monsters captain Ryan Craig answered back with an even-strength score, his eighth of the year, at 14:03 of the first, assisted by Oliver Bjorkstrand and Dillon Heatherington. A see-saw frame saw the Griffins re-claim their edge at 15:17 when Anthony Mantha tipped home a Robbie Russo wrister, fed by Colin Campbell at even-strength to make it 2-1 Grand Rapids.

In the middle frame, the Monsters quickly leveled the score with a T.J. Tynan power-play marker at 6:47, set up by Daniel Zaar and Michael Paliotta, then claimed their first lead of the game at 10:03 when Nick Moutrey wedged a backhand past Griffins’ net-minder Jared Coreau to make it 3-2 Lake Erie. The Griffins refused to yield, however, as with time winding down in the second, Andy Miele tied the game at three at 17:06, with Tangradi and Mantha collecting assists on the play.

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After a scoreless third period and overtime frame, the Monsters failed to convert on their first two shootout attempts and after Monsters backstop Brad Thiessen denied Griffins sniper Martin Frk in round one, Miele brushed what proved to be a deciding shootout tally into the net to deliver Grand Rapids a 4-3 win. Thiessen made a season-high 25 saves in defeat while Coreau, in his 14th consecutive start in net for the Griffins, stopped 34 of the 37 pucks he faced.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Monday road clash vs. the Manitoba Moose with full coverage underway from MTS Centre in Winnipeg, MB at 8:00 pm on AM 1420 The Answer and the Monsters Hockey Network.