Monsters Clip Grififns 3-2 Behind Gerbe’s Shootout Winner

Camper, Alex Broadhurst score in regulation, Kivlenieks stops 23 in hard-fought home win.

The Cleveland Monsters, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins in a shootout on Thursday at The Q by a final score of 3-2 in the first of three straight meetings between the two teams. With the win, the Monsters improved to 14-22-4-3 overall this season and with a .407 points percentage, remain alone in seventh place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

Grand Rapids grabbed a 1-0 lead on Thursday when Eric Tangradi notched an even-strength goal at 1:40 of the opening stanza. In the middle frame, Cleveland’s Carter Camper tied the game at one with a five-on-five finish at 3:08 thanks to feeds from Markus Hannikainen and Gabriel Carlsson. Then, at 14:52 of the second, Alex Broadhurst netted a power-play strike courtesy of assists from Terry Broadhurst and Nathan Gerbe, to provide Cleveland with a 2-1 edge through two periods of play.

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Griffins center Dominic Turgeon leveled the score at two with an even-strength strike at 1:27 of the third before the rest of the frame slid by scoreless, as did a five-minute, three-on-three overtime period. In a shootout, Monsters forward Zac Dalpe was denied in the first round by Grand Rapids net-minder Jared Coreau, as was Griffins forward Axel Holmstrom in the bottom of the round by Cleveland’s Matiss Kivlenieks. Both teams again failed to strike in the second round as Hannikainen and Puempel were turned aside, but in the top of the third round, Gerbe connected for the Monsters and Kivlenieks stalled Grand Rapids’ Matt Lorito to preserve a 3-2 Cleveland victory.

Kivlenieks stopped 23 of the 25 pucks he faced in regulation and overtime, and all three shootout attempts, to improve to 7-13-2 in net this season while Coreau is now 16-10-3 between the pipes despite a 31-save showing and two of three shootout denials.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Friday rematch vs. Griffins with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 7:00 pm on SportsTime Ohio, Alt 99.1, and the Monsters Hockey Network.

Full and partial season ticket memberships are on sale now and provide you with the best seat locations, custom member benefits and the lowest ticket prices starting at only $10 per game. Group outing and birthday bash packages for 10 or more people are also on sale now. All tickets can be purchased by visiting ClevelandMonsters.com, calling (216) 420-0000, visiting The Q Box Office or any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart. Be sure to follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/monstershockey, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.