Monsters Upend Conference-Leading Grifffins 4-3
Sami Aittokallio stopped Jeff Hoggan on the doorstep as time expired, and the Lake Erie Monsters (28-25-6-4) held on for a 4-3 victory over the Western Conference leading Grand Rapids Griffins (38-18-6-2) before a Quicken Loans Arena crowd of 12,532 Saturday night. Tomas Vincour led the offensive charge for the Monsters with two goals, while Stefan Elliott and Troy Bourke also scored. Andrew Agozzino extended his Monsters season-long point streak to eight games with a first period assist, and the Monsters have points in three straight games with the win. The Monsters open a three-game road trip Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern against Rockford.
Elliott scored a power play goal 1:58 into the game- his 15th goal of the season- to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle, assisted by Ben Youds and Agozzino. Grand Rapids answered with a pair of goals in under ten minutes after the Monsters took the early lead, as Marek Tvrdon scored a power play goal at 4:08 of the first period and Ryan Sproul batted in a rebound at 10:31 of the opening frame, giving the Griffins a 2-1 lead.
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Grand Rapids turned the puck over to Vincour in the final seconds of the first period, and Vincour beat Griffins goalie Jared Coreau top-shelf with under a second remaining to tie the game 2-2. The goal was Vincour's fourth of the season.
Tomas Nosek scored a shorthanded goal to give the Griffins a 3-2 lead at 1:26 of the second period, but it would mark the end of the scoring for Grand Rapids. Bourke netted a rebound following a two-on-one rush up the ice with Kenny Ryan for his eighth goal of the season, tying the game 3-3 at 3:26 of the second period. At 8:31 of the second period, Vincour gave the Monsters a 4-3 lead with the eventual game-winning goal after tipping in a Trevor Cheek centering feed. The goal was Vincour's second of the game and fifth of the campaign.
Aittokallio turned away all 15 Griffins shots he saw in the third period to preserve the victory for the Monsters, who held off a late surge from Grand Rapids. Aittokallio stopped 34 of 37 shots in the win, and he is now 7-5-1 on the season. Jared Coreau took the loss in net for Grand Rapids, stopping 31 of 35 shots. He is 13-7-1.
The Monsters visit Rockford Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Wednesday's game airs live on ESPN 850 WKNR.
NOTES: The Monsters are 16-13-1-2 at home this season... The Monsters are 20-6-5-4 in one-goal games this season... Agozzino has 11 points on his eight-game point streak... Agozzino led the way for the Monsters with seven shots on goal... Aittokallio is 4-1-0 against Grand Rapids this season... The Monsters are 5-3-0-1 against Grand Rapids this season... The Monsters and Grand Rapids were each 1-4 on the power play... Follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lakeeriemonsters, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.