Monsters Felled By Perseverant Griffins

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, were defeated by the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI by a final score of 5-3. With the loss, the Monsters fell to 6-9-1-1 overall this season and with a .412 points percentage, remain alone in eighth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

After a scoreless first period, the Monsters seized control in the middle frame with three unanswered even-strength scores. First, rugged winger Brett Gallant took advantage of a net-front scramble and feeds from Aaron Palushaj and Jaime Sifers to pot his first marker of the season at 7:20. Then, reigning AHL Playoff MVP Oliver Bjorkstrand notched a pair of tallies, from Jordan Maletta and Dillon Heatherington at 14:12 and Sonny Milano and Joe Pendenza at 17:24, to make it 3-0 Cleveland.

In the third, Grand Rapids strung together five unanswered scores, from Brian Lashoff at 3:08 and Martin Frk at 4:54 at even-strength, Kyle Criscuolo at 10:28 and Tomas Nosek at 17:18 on the power-play, and an empty-netter from Mitch Callahan at 19:02 to claim a 5-3 victory.

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Anton Forsberg fell to 5-5-1 between the pipes for the Monsters on Friday despite stopping 43 of the 48 pucks he faced while Griffins backstop Eddie Pasquale stopped 23 of the 26 Monsters shots he saw on Friday to improve to 2-1-0 in net for Grand Rapids this season.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Saturday rematch vs. the Griffins with full coverage, live from The Q in Cleveland, underway at 7:00 pm on 99X, Sports Time Ohio and the Monsters Hockey Network.

Tickets for every Monsters home game start at just $10 and are on sale now! Full and partial season ticket memberships are also available and provide you with the best seat locations, custom member benefits and the lowest ticket prices. Group outing and birthday bash packages for 10 or more people are also on sale now. All tickets can be purchased by visiting, 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, and on Instagram at