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McCarty's Storybook Home Debut Slays Monsters 6-3
Veteran Winger Provides Offense With Hat Trick and Assist...
By Jason Kasiorek

Ever the showman, McCarty could not have scripted a better home debut. The veteran NHL'er, playing in only his fourth AHL game of the season, scored a hat trick and added an assist for a four point night. AHL all-star Jonathan Ericsson scored a goal and an assist, and Mark Hartigan scored his team leading 23rd goal of the season. Adam Berkhoel made 21 saves to earn his second win in his last three starts.

Early in the first with Insana in the box for holding, DaSilva notched a powerplay tally to put Lake Erie up by one. The momentum was short lived, however, as just 34 seconds later Darren mcCarty answered back to even the score. Jamie Tardif dropped the gloves for a rematch with Mike Love and got several good licks in early before Love came back a little. The bout was pretty even with Tardif scoring a takedown. Just past the 13 minute mark The monsters took the lead again. Berkhoel made a couple of great stops, but the defense didn't clear the puck allowing Healey to bang it home. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - Lake Erie 11.

McCarty started out the second with some good work around the net on the powerplay, ending in a wraparound that he stuffed in short side, between Wall and the post. Healey and Hartigan pushed and shoved until Healey threw a punch. Hartigan went right after him, but the officials kept it from becoming a fight. Ericsson gave the Griffins their first lead of the game at 11:24 when he blasted a rocket from the top of the circle past Wall. Hartigan coughed up the puck in front of the net but Berkhoel came up big, making the save. He made up for it a few minutes later on a shorthanded rush. Helm used his speed to make it a 2-on-1 and Hartigan waited out Wall and then stroked the puck behind him into cage stick-side high. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - Lake Erie 7.

McCarty completed the hat trick early in the third, taking a pass at the line, striding in on net and letting a rising shot go that beat Wall glove side. At this point the monster are dazed and can't clear the zone, giving GR several great chances. The physical play also picked up with Lake Erie turning in late hits and cheap shots after the whistle. Tardif had his second scrap of the night, going with Boychuk, and getting the worst of it, before taking him down. Smith cut the lead to two, on the powerplay, roofing a cross-ice feed back door past Berkhoel. Oulahen Struck back 30 seconds later shoving a loose puck on the doorstep past Wall, ala Matt Ellis. For the Game: GR 37 - Lake Erie 24.

Oulahen - Hartigan - McCarty
Helm - Cullen - Corazzini
Tardif - McGrath - Lemieux
Oulahen/Lemieux/Tardif - Redenbach - Gelech

Kinley - Ericsson
Insana - Kindl
Stafford - Galvin

Starter: Berkhoel
Backup: Rudkowsky

Ference - wrist

Helm - Cullen - Corazzini
Stafford - Kindl

Redenbach - Hartigan - McCarty
Kinley - Ericsson

Corazzini - Cullen
Stafford - Ericsson

Helm - Tardif
Insana/Kindl - Galvin

Oulahen - Gelech


While it was probably strictly an adrenaline performance, what a great night for McCarty. He had a lot of jump, but still was a step behind in races for the puck. His hockey sense makes up for most of it, but he still has a way to go.

Jamie Tardif had another physical game, and while it is great to see him more involved physically, he can be a dangerous goal-scorer, more important than an enforcer. I hope this is not the role the coach has made him take on to keep his spot in the lineup.

Kindl used his size to his advantage, knocking budding power forward Stewart on his butt at the blueline.

Granted it is only one game, but I saw little out of Tyler Redenbach to suggest he can be an offensive force at this level.

Cleve Kinley played easily his best game in a Griffins uniform. He was solid in his own end, moved the puck well and created offense. He looked much more fluid than in the past, and looked to be thinking the game faster and reacting accordingly.

Official Game Sheet