Recap: Griffins Fall 3-2 In Shootout To Lake Erie Monsters

The Griffins continued to improve their on ice play as they headed to Cleveland last night take on the Columbus Blue Jacket's affiliate, Lake Erie Monsters. They had a up and down game in terms of play, having both stretches of dominant play and also lengthy stretched of being schooled in their own zone and just trying to stay afloat. Tyler Bertuzzi made his return to the lineup after serving a 2 game suspension that equated to 2 weeks, because of the Griffins strange schedule. Getting him back into the lineup noticeably added some jump and energy into the the Griffins game, and removing Joel Rechlicz and inserting Tyler Bertuzzi is a pretty significant upgrade. Here were the lines for Friday night's game.

Lines (starters in italics)

Mitch Callahan Andy Miele (A) Anthony Mantha
Eric Tangradi Tomas Nosek Martin Frk
Danny Cleary Mark Zengerle Tyler Bertuzzi
Jeff Hoggan (C) Louis-Marc Aubry Colin Campbell
Nathan Paetsch (A) Nick Jensen
Xavier Ouellet Robbie Russo
Brian Lashoff Ryan Sproul
Jared Coreau
Thomas McCollum

The Monsters had a 2-0 lead before defenseman Nick Jensen got the Griffins on the board 4:58 into the 2nd period. He flew through the neutral zone and into the Monster's zone on the right side of the ice, Mark Zengerle feed him a perfect pass from the slot and Jensen put on the moves, pulled the puck back and put a backhander in past Anton Forsberg. Beautiful!

Later in the 2nd period Anthony Mantha had a gorgeous move to get around the Monster's defender and drive to the net. He didn't get a high percentage shot off, but that's a great power move to drive in, and illustrates the confidence and ability he's playing with so far this season.

Just 3:19 into the 3rd period, Mantha did get a goal to tie the game when his powerful point shot had eyes for the back of the net. He let the shot rip and boom. Tie game.

Unfortunately that was the last goal the Griffins would score in the game, including overtime and the shootout. The Griffins get a second chance to beat the Monsters tonight in Cleveland at 7:00.

Here's your full recap.


CLEVELAND - Jared Coreau stopped 32 of 34 shots, but the Grand Rapids Griffins fell in a shootout to the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 on Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. Nick Jensen and Anthony Mantha scored to help the Griffins (2-7-0-1) overcome a two-goal deficit and send the game into overtime. However, Kerby Rychel scored the lone goal in the shootout, extending the Griffins' road winless streak to four. Dillon Heatherington opened the scoring for Lake Erie (7-3-0-2) with 1:56 remaining in the opening period. Brian Lashoff's clearing attempt ended up on the stick of Dillon Heatherington, whose wrist shot from the left point beat a screened Jared Coreau on his glove side.

The Monsters wasted no time adding to their lead in the second period. Josh Anderson gained the zone and drove the net to the right of Coreau, forcing a pad save. Alex Broadhurst, who was following the play, put home the rebound to give Lake Erie a 2-0 lead 1:52 into the middle frame. Jensen put the Griffins on the scoresheet just over three minutes later. Mark Zengerle fed Jensen at the right point. Jensen then worked his way down below the right circle, lifting a backhand shot past the blocker of Anton Forsberg. The Griffins outshot 11-7 in the second, and carried the momentum into the third.

Grand Rapids tied the score 3:19 into the third after Mantha deflected Ryan Sproul's shot from the right point past Forsberg's glove. Lake Erie had a golden opportunity to win in regulation after Nathan Paetsch was called for delay of game with 2:44 remaining in regulation. Coreau needed to use all of his 6'6" frame to make two big pad saves to help kill the penalty and send the Griffins to their first 3-on-3 overtime of the season.

Mantha, Jensen, and Andy Miele started the overtime for the Griffins. Both teams had one shot on goal in overtime, with the Griffins best chance coming when Tyler Bertuzzi's shot from below the right circle went off Forsberg's arm. Martin Frk, Miele, and Tomas Nosek were unable to score in the shootout.

The Monsters, entering their fourth shootout of the season, sent out Sonny Milano, T.J. Tynan, and Rychel. Milano and Tynan failed to score, but Rychel moved from backhand to forehand to go around Coreau's right pad and score. Forsberg stopped 21 of 23 shots in a winning effort. Both sides went 0 for 2 on the power play. The Griffins conclude the weekend series against Lake Erie with a rematch on Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

Three Stars: 1. Rychel (assist) 2. Heatherington (goal) 3. Broadhurst (goal) Notes: Ryan Sproul played his 150th career regular season game as a Griffin tonight, making him the 46th player to accomplish this milestone...Lake Erie head coach Jared Bednar played one season for the Griffins, registering 21 points and 220 penalty minutes in 74 games during the 1998-99 IHL season.