Griffins Rally to Slay Monsters 6-4
Corazzini, Cullen and Ritola score 10 points in win...
By Jason Kasiorek
After a rocky first period, the Griffins settled down and put on an offensive show scoring 5 goals in the final two periods to take a 6-4 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters. The newly combined line of Cullen, Corazzini and Ritola led the way, accounting for 10 points, while GR also got goals from Garrett Stafford (8), Darren Helm (7), and Jamie Tardif (14). Adam Berkhoel came in in relief of Jimmy Howard and stopped 19 of 20 shots he faced to pick up his 7th win of the campaign.
Grand Rapids came out flat in the first and was guilty of standing around to much in their own end. It finally cost them 6 minutes into the period when DaSilva was allowed to stand in front of Howard unmolested, and poke a loose puck home right in front. The second goal Howard will probably want back as he moved across the crease following TJ Hensick and provided a huge five hole, which the former U of M star took advantage of, notching a powerplay goal. The Griffins answered back at the 13:38 mark on a 5 on 3 powerplay. Cullen ripped a shot from the slot that found its way into the back of the Monster's net. The monsters third goal was more of the same as nobody would clear the crease. Insana let his man stand right on the edge of the paint and convert a quick pass past Howard for another powerplay tally. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - Lake Erie 9.
Berkhoel started the second period between the pipes with Howard no where to be seen. Helm got the crowd on its feet early in the second, scoring his 7th of the season. Thirty seconds later Ritola burned down the wing and blistered a shot on Weiman that dribbled through, and Corazzini pouned on it in the paint , pushing it over the line to tie the game at 3. Grand Rapids took its first lead of the game 4 minutes later when Corazzini took the puck to the net and dished to a streaking Ritola for a backdoor goal. The puck went in off Ritola's leg but was allowed to stand. That spelled the end for Weiman and he was replaced by Bacashihua. Tardif and Love renewed acquaintences with a lengthy grappling match. Neither landed much until the end when Love got a couple of good ones in. The monsters tied the score at four late in the period thanks to a turnover at the blueline. Lundmark picked up the puck for a breakaway on Berkhoel, froze him, and lifted the puck over him for a goal. Shots on Goal: GR 19 - Lake Erie 8.
Tardif put the Griffins ahead to stay early in the third when he tipped a point blast at the corner past Bacashihua. McCarty got lined up pretty good by Boychuk and was in a great deal of pain trying to leave the ice. After a look by the trainer he was helped down the hall to the dressing room, nursing what looked to be a rib injury. Stafford made the score 6-4 as the late man following up a nice rush by Cullen and Corazzini. He picked up the puck and smoked it past Bacashihua mid-way stick side. McCarty returned to the game and looked none the worse for wear. The monsters pulled the goalie for the extra attacker with 1:50 left in the game, but GR held them off for the win.Shots on goal: GR 8 - Lake Erie 12. For the Game: GR 40 - Lake Erie 29.
Helm/Fojtik - Oulahen - McCarty
Ritola - Cullen - Corazzini
Lemieux - McGrath - Tardif
Fojtik - Tardif/Oulahen - Gelech
Quincey - Jozsa
Insana - Stafford
Galvin - Kindl
Ference - wrist
Moyer - Leg
Fojtik/Helm - Oulahen - McCarty
Stafford - Quincey
Ritola/Tardif - Cullen - Corazzini
Jozsa - Kindl
Corazzini - Cullen
Insana - Stafford
Helm/Gelech - Tardif
Quincey - Galvin
Oulahen - McCarty
Nice to see the team bounce back to win this game, to mnay times this season, the first period would have been the end of them.
Howard didn't have a lot of help, but didn't look particularly sharp either. He needs to get his game together for this team to have any shot of post-season play.
Mattias Ritola had a banner night. He was always where the puck was, had several great chances, and played a physical game.
Cullen looked to have regained his confidence, and along with Corazzini was the difference tonight.
Kyle Quincey looked to playing with a chip on his shoulder, going out of his way to make the other team pay a price. Keep it up.