[From the Griffins]
CLEVELAND – The Grand Rapids Griffins claimed their first win of the 2020-21 campaign on Saturday, scoring twice in the third period for a 3-1 decision over the Cleveland Monsters at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the teams traded power play goals in the second period. Trey Fix-Wolansky snapped a shot past Pat Nagle’s blocker from the right circle on a rush at 11:28, but the Griffins took advantage of a fortunate bounce to tie matters less than four minutes later. Kyle Criscuolo’s dump into the right corner caromed off the glass and out into the slot, where a crashing Evgeny Svechnikov made a quick deke to slip the puck past Brad Thiessen’s outstretched left leg.
Riley Barber gave the Griffins their first third-period lead of the young season 1:53 into the final frame off a takeaway by Turner Elson behind the Cleveland net. Barber skated out to the bottom of the left circle, turned and sniped a high shot into the far corner of Thiessen’s net.
That proved to be the game-winner, and Dominic Turgeon added an empty-netter with 1:49 remaining off assists from Elson and Michael Rasmussen for the final margin. Nagle finished with 26 saves in the victory.
• The Griffins have scored one power play goal in each game this season, and Criscuolo (2-1—3) and Barber (0-3—3) have factored into the scoring of each.
• Grand Rapids will complete its season-opening road slate on Thursday in Rockford before returning to Van Andel Arena next Saturday, Feb. 20 to host Cleveland for its first home game in 346 days.
• Elson’s two assists gave him 150 points (70-80—150) for his 368-game AHL career.
Grand Rapids 0 1 2 - 3
Cleveland 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Sikura Cle (tripping), 10:17.
2nd Period-1, Cleveland, Fix-Wolansky 1 (Dalpe, Gerbe), 11:28 (PP). 2, Grand Rapids, Svechnikov 1 (Criscuolo, Barber), 15:08 (PP). Penalties-Loggins Gr (high-sticking), 10:37; Lappin Cle (hooking), 14:54.
3rd Period-3, Grand Rapids, Barber 1 (Elson), 1:53. 4, Grand Rapids, Turgeon 1 (Elson, Rasmussen), 18:11 (EN). Penalties-served by Fix-Wolansky Cle (bench minor - too many men), 8:31.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 12-12-7-31. Cleveland 7-10-10-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 3; Cleveland 1 / 1.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Nagle 1-1-0 (27 shots-26 saves). Cleveland, Thiessen 0-2-0 (30 shots-28 saves).
1. GR Barber (game-winning goal, assist); 2. GR Svechnikov (power play goal). 3. CLE Fix-Wolansky (power play goal)
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 1-2-0-0 (2 pts.) / Thurs., Feb. 18 at Rockford 7 p.m. EST
Cleveland: 0-2-0-0 (0 pts.) / Sat., Feb. 20 at Grand Rapids 4 p.m.m. CST