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Griffins Falter, Can't hold off Monsters Rally in 4-3 SO Loss
Team squanders 2-0 lead...
By Jason Kasiorek
March 22nd, 2013

Grand Rapids jumped out to an early lead, but were unable to hang on, allowing the Lake Erie Monsters to come from behind and win the game in a shootout. Jeff Hoggan (14), Frankie Pare (19) in the first 10 minutes and looked to have things well in hand. The Monsters had other plans and scored two goals to tie things up. Landon Ferraro (19) gave the Griffins a short lead, but Lake Erie again retaliated sent things to overtime and a shootout. Chad Billins had the team's only tally in the shootout while Lake Erie scored a pair for the win. Rookie netminder Petr Mrazek made 19 saves in a losing effort.

Grand Rapids wasted no time in opening the scoring, jumping out to a 1-0 lead just 1:31 into the first. Hoggan flew in off his wing and picked the top corner over Aittokallio for his 14th of the campaign. Pare made it 2-0 later in the period when he cranked a shot from the circle that got past a screened Aittokallio for a powerplay marker. Evans dropped the gloves with Monsters' captain Brian Sutherby in front of their bench and put a beating on him. The Griffins did a great job killing a late penalty to Sheahan. Lake Erie couldn't get a shot on net as the GR penalty killers did a masterful job of blocking shots. Walker finally put Lake Erie on the board, taking up position in front of Mrazek and tipping a long shot past him to make it 2-1. Almquist got smoked in the corner, but did not miss a shift after picking himself up. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - LE 0.

The Monsters tied things up early in the second when Stollery, on the powerplay, fired a shot from the bottom of the circle that Thomas got a piece of for a goal. The Griffins had a great chance to reagin the lead on a delayed penalty to Lake Erie. Ferraro, Jurco and Mursak cycled the puck and kept possession, putting several quality shots on net, but could not score. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - LE 9.

Callahan and Aubry didn't see a lot of ice time the latter half of the second and early in the third. But when they finally got a shift, they came out crashing and banging. Ferraro carried the puck in, curled into the slot and lifted the puck into the net stick-side to put GR up by 1 halfway through the third. The Griffins thought they had added a 4th goal with about 8 minutes left, but it was waived off. Lake Erie tied the game a minute later on a shot from Sgarbossa. Shots on Goal: GR 13 - LE 6.

The overtime period was pretty uneventful and after five minutes the game went to a shootout. Shots on Goal: GR 3 - LE 2. For the Game: GR 32 - LE 23.

The Shootout:
Sheahan was the first shooter for Grand Rapids. He shot in on net and had the puck poked away at the last moment. Sgarbossa went next for Lake Erie, but Mrazek flashed the glove for a save. Billins, the second shooter for GR, cut in from the circle and slid the puck under a moving Aittokallio for a goal. Carey evened things up on the next sortie, lifting a shot into the net, glove side on Mrazek. The third shooter, Skinner's shot beat Aittokallio but hit the crossbar and stayed out. Van der Gulik went next for the Monsters, but Mrazek did the splits and closed off the bottom of the net. Tatar ripped a shot of Aittokallio's pad, but Hishon froze Mrazek and put a shot in mid-high, stick side for the lead. Pare had a chance to keep the Griffins alive, but couldn't lift it over the netminder's leg pad, and the Monsters took the shootout and the win 4-3.

Tatar - Sheahan - Pare
Hoggan - Glendening - Nestrasil/Callahan
Mursak - Ferraro - Jurco
Grant - Aubry - Callahan/Nestrasil

Paetsch - Almquist
Evans - Billins
Griffins played a five man rotation with Fournier only getting a few shifts a period.

Starter: Mrazek
Backup: McCollum


Pare - Sheahan - Tatar
Skinner - Billins

Mursak/Nestrasil - Ferraro - Jurco
Patesch - Almquist

Sheahan - Ferraro
Evans - Skinner

Hoggan - Glendening
Amquist - Paetsch

Mursak - Jurco


Not much tonight. Pare was for the most part invisible, as were most of the teams big guns. Mursak - Ferraro - Jurco line did provide some spark, and the energy line with Callahan and Aubry had a few notable shifts, but after getting off to a good start the team was guilty of standing around to much.

Official Game Sheet