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Griffins score six goals in third period for comeback win over Monsters

John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

CLEVELAND - With two goals each, Filip Zadina and Dominik Shine highlighted the Grand Rapids Griffins’ offense that produced six unanswered third-period tallies en route to an 8-4 comeback win over the Cleveland Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The eight-goal total marks Grand Rapids’ highest-scoring game since it tallied nine at Rockford on Feb. 5, 2016. After overcoming an early 4-2 deficit to the Monsters (7-4-1-0) in the third period, the Griffins have extended their point streak to four games (3-0-0-1) and brought their overall record to 5-5-0-1.

Grand Rapids will return to action on Thursday and Saturday as it travels north of the border to face off in a two-game series with the Manitoba Moose. Thursday’s game has a start time of 8 p.m. EST, while Saturday’s will begin at 7 p.m. EST.

Cleveland established an early lead just 2:36 into the first period when Alex Broadhurst notched a backhanded goal on the power play after Joe Hicketts was penalized for holding 41 seconds earlier.

At 6:20, Grand Rapids responded. After corralling a pass from Givani Smith at center ice, Shine beat defender Dylan Simpson at Cleveland’s blue line to put the puck five-hole and tie the game.

The Monsters’ leading scorer, Zac Dalpe, broke the tie at 14:27 of the same frame after stealing control of the puck behind the right corner of the net. Dalpe wrapped around the goal to sneak the puck past Harri Sateri, giving Cleveland a one-goal lead heading into the second period.

Former Cleveland forward Carter Camper found the net next at 4:48 off a pass from Chris Terry. After gaining control of the puck, Camper went top shelf in the upper right hand corner of the net to once again tie the game.

Two power play goals ended the back-and-forth scoring, beginning when Mark Letestu chipped in a goal from the slot off a pass from Nathan Gerbe on the power play at 16:42. Just 28 seconds into the third period, Dalpe tacked on his second goal of the game to give Cleveland a two-goal lead.

It was Terry who kicked off the Griffins’ six-goal streak in the third frame, starting 15 seconds after Dalpe’s goal. Camper wrapped around behind the Monsters’ net, and Cleveland’s goaltender, Jean-Francois Berube, followed him to the right. Camper sent the puck to Terry, who was waiting on Berube’s open side to slot it in and put the Griffins within one goal.

That goal came from Filip Zadina, who took control of the puck in the slot off a backhand pass from Hicketts. Zadina fired the puck past Berube to knot the game at 4-4.

Grand Rapids took the lead at 8:14 when Christoffer Ehn set up Axel Holmstrom on the doorstep with a pass from behind the net. Holmstrom knocked the puck in for the Griffins’ first lead of the game.

Matthew Ford pushed the score to 6-4 after receiving a pass from Turner Elson and firing it off from behind the blue line for an empty-net goal at 16:51. Just 1:21 later, Shine notched his second goal of the game when he tacked on another empty-netter from center ice off a pass from Ehn.

The Griffins’ final goal was Zadina’s second tally of the night, when he and Smith broke off on a 2-on-1 with a Cleveland defender. Zadina skated the puck all the way to Berube’s net to beat him on the right side, establishing Grand Rapids’ four-goal lead.

Sateri recorded 32 saves for the win, while Berube tallied 27 on the night.

Notes: The Griffins went 2-for-5 on the penalty kill and are now 0-for-18 in power plays through the last four games...Including tonight’s game, Grand Rapids has scored 20 goals through its last three meetings with Cleveland (six on Feb. 4, 2018; six on April 14, 2018)...The third period’s tally of six goals was one away from the franchise record for most goals in a period (7 at Chicago on Nov. 27, 2010)...The 8-4 victory over the Monsters marks the first time the Griffins scored exactly eight goals in a win since Oct. 4, 2013 when they beat Rochester 8-1.

Three Stars: 1. GR Terry (goal, assist); 2. CLE Dalpe (two goals, two assists); 3. GR Holmstrom (game-winning goal)