WINDSOR, Ontario - The Grand Rapids Griffins concluded their preseason schedule with a 4-2 loss to the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday at the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre.
Tom McCollum turned aside 34 of 37 shots for the Griffins, who finished 1-1 on the preseason following their 5-1 win over the Monsters on Friday in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The Griffins will drop the puck on their regular season this coming Friday and Saturday with a road trip to Bakersfield and San Diego, marking their 20th campaign overall, 15th as members of the American Hockey League and 14th as the primary affiliate of the Red Wings. The following weekend, Grand Rapids will kick off the home portion of its schedule with back-to-back games against the San Antonio Rampage on Oct. 16-17 at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.
Lake Erie touched up McCollum twice in the opening period, as Alex Broadhurst deflected a shot into the top left corner of the net at the 5:03 mark and Derek Deblois followed with a goal 3:02 later. Ben Wilson earned the first assist on each tally.
Alden Hirschfeld answered in short order for the Griffins with his second goal in as many nights, potting Martin Frk's slick feed past Anton Forsberg from the right side with 9:30 left in the frame.
The Monsters took advantage of a fortunate bounce to reestablish their two-goal cushion 3:10 into the second period. As McCollum skated behind his net to collect a puck, it caromed off the glass and out into the slot, and Lukas Sedlak rushed in to tap it into the vacated net.
Frk scored his second goal of the preseason during a power play at 14:12 of the third, blasting Marek Tvrdon's pass through a screen from atop the left circle to make it a 3-2 game, but Oliver Bjorkstrand tallied into a empty net with 1:45remaining for the final margin.
Forsberg made 21 saves to earn the win for Lake Erie.
Griffins fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2. Single-game tickets for all home games are now available for purchase at all Star Tickets locations, including The Zone, online through griffinshockey.com, or by phone through Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737.
Notes: Defenseman Scott Czarnowczan joined the Griffins late this afternoon after being released from his tryout with the Detroit Red Wings. He, McCollum, Hirschfeld, Frk and Tvrdon were the only members of Grand Rapids' 2014-15 squad who played in tonight's exhibition...New Lake Erie head coach Jared Bednar racked up 220 penalty minutes as a Griffin in 1998-99
Like the first preseason game, this one wasn't televised, but it sounds like this was a typical game from McCollum. Get touched up for a couple goals earyt in the game, then "bounce back" later on. And McCollum coming out to play the puck, only to have it take a funny bounce and turn into a goal against is something I've witnessed live multiple times. See: Definition of insanity. A majority of the players in both preseason games are Toledo Walleye players, with most of the Wings prospects still in Detroit but the Griffins will be fully stocked and ready to rock and roll for their season start because the Wings will have to be under their roster limit by the end of Tuesday.