CLEVELAND – The Grand Rapids Griffins led the game for most of the first period before relinquishing the lead in the second period, but an early goal in the third frame tied the game to force overtime. After six combined fruitless chances in overtime, the game went to a shootout where a Nathan Gerbe goal swayed the result in the home team’s favor.
Cleveland (14-22-4-3) won its second consecutive game against Grand Rapids (22-18-1-5). The scene for this game was Quicken Loans Arena where the Monsters had lost three straight games, while the Griffins had won their last three road games. The two teams meet up again tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
Grand Rapids got on the board first when Eric Tangradi scored his team-leading 17th goal just 1:40into the game. Matt Puempel skated into the Cleveland zone and through the slot with the puck. He made a quick pass to Ben Street in the slot between two defenders. Street hit a backhanded pass to Tangradi who tapped it into the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Monsters tied the game 3:08 into the second frame when Carter Camper tallied his 9th goal of the season. Gabriel Carlsson took a shot from the point which was deflected by Markus Hannikainen in front of the net. Camper hammered it home before the defense could catch up.
With 5:08 remaining in the period, Cleveland gained the lead with Alex Broadhurst’s 10th goal of the year. In near similar fashion as the team’s first goal, a shot from the point led to a rebound in front of the net which eventually found the back of the net. This time it was Nathan Gerbe with the initial shot, Terry Broadhurst with the deflection, and the younger Broadhurst with the go-ahead goal.
Dominic Turgeon added his 10th goal of the campaign 1:27 into the third stanza. Matt Loritoforced a turnover in the zone and passed the puck to Colin Campbell in the right circle. A slick pass to Turgeon between two defenders led to a screened shot from the slot that sailed past Matiss Kivlenieks’ glove to make the score 2-2.
A scoreless overtime led to a shootout between the two teams. Axel Holmstrom, Puempel and Lorito came up short for the Griffins while Gerbe put the nail in the coffin for the home team.
Jared Coreau pushed aside 31 shots in a losing effort while Matiss Kivlenieks made 23 saves for his 7th win of the season.
Three Stars: 1. CLE Gerbe (Shootout-winning goal, assist); 2. CLE Kivlenieks (W, 23 saves); 3. CLE Broadhurst, A (Goal)