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Griffins Rally Back for 5-4 Shootout Win
Frk nets two in come from behind victory...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 9, 2016

The Griffins needed some late game heroics to pull out a 5-4 win over the visiting Cleveland Monsters Wednesday night at Van Andel arena. After trailing much of the game, Grand Rapids used third period goals by Lorito and Frk to regain a late lead before allowing the tying goal and forcing overtime. Evgeny Svechnikov scored on the backhand in the 4th round of the shootout to hand Cleveland it's sixth straight loss. Anthony Mantha had a 1st period tally as well as another in the shootout, and Martin Frk had another powerplay tally to round out the scoring for Grand Rapids.

During the pregame warmup, Mitch Callahan was the last player off the ice, and as he left, a Monsters player fired the puck into the Griffins net. Callahan responded by throwing a water bottle at him and uttering some choice words. Anthony Mantha at the side of the net opened the scoring early in the first when he took a nice back door feed from Ben Street and buried it for a 1-0 lead. The lead was short lived as Cleveland answered right back. Maletta on the rush got behind the defense and blew a quick shot past Coreau. Mantha and Svechnikov showed of some nice chemistry with a pretty give and go that resulted in a nice scoring chance. The Monsters took their first lead of the game when Paetsch couldn't tie up his man in the circle and allowed a great scoring chance for Palushaj that Coreau never saw. Tynan made contact with Coreau in the crease, bowling him over and giving GR another powerplay. Shortly after the Powerplay expired, Graves extended the lead to 3-1 scoring a nice goal on the rush. Martin Frk scored his first of the night on the powerplay, stroking a shot from the circle past Forsberg to cut the lead to one. Coreau under fire missed the puck but was saved by the post. Shots on goal: GR 18 - CLE 12.

The second period was much more back and forth in the neutral zone with fewer scoring chances for either team. Callahan took a pass in the slot and had a great chance on Forsberg point blank. Huge kick save by Coreau on Pendoza at the top of the slot. Renouf made a great defensive play late in the period. The rookie blue liner was the last man back and fell down, but still managed to take away the pass and the shot with his long wingspan. Shots on goal: GR 8 - CLE 7.

The Griffins managed to knot the score at 3 early in the third, when Callahan dug the puck out of the corner and fed Frk at the point. Frk blasted a rocket Past Forsberg for a powerplay goal. Less than a minute later Criscuolo fired a soft shot towards the net from the circle that went right to Lorito for an easy shot into a wide open net and a 4-3 lead. The Griffins could not hold the lead for long as Bjorkstrand on the rush beat Coreau to push the score to four all. Both teams tried to break the deadlock, but time ran out, forcing overtime. Shots on goal: GR 14 - CLE 21.

Cleveland was dominant on the first shift of 3-on-3 overtime, getting several quality scoring chances. Callahan with a great chance right in front on a Hicketts' feed. Nosek hit the post on a another great chance right in front. Nosek was whistled for a penalty giving the Monsters a 4-on-3 powerplay with 1:37 left. The Griffins penalty killers came up big, and on to the shootout. Shots on goal: GR 6 - CLE 7. For the game: Gr 47 - Cle 47.

The shootout:

Broadhurst went first for the Monsters, tried to sneak it through five-hole, but Coreau closed the pads. Lorito was the first shooter for the home team and fired a shot that trickled through Forsberg and just stopped on the line. The second shooter for Cleveland was Hannikainen who made a nice move but was denied. Anthony Mantha flew in kicked his leg and fired a shot in over Forsberg glove side for a goal. Palushaj scored high stick side in end three to keep the Monsters alive and Frk ripped a shot wide of the net. Scott beat Coreau in end 4 but rang a shot off the post. Evgeny Svechnikov put the nail in the coffin with a nifty backhand at close range through Forsberg's feet as he started to go past the net to give the Griffins a 5-4 win.

Svechnikov - Nosek - Campbell
Callahan - Street - Mantha
Frk - Lorito - Criscuolo
Borkowski - Aubry - Turgeon

Paetsch - Russo
Lashoff - Jensen
Hicketts - Renouf

Starter: Coreau
Backup: Pasquale

#11 Cleary - Veteran
#26 Tangradi - Hand #29 Sadowy
#44 Allen
#55 Ford - Muscle strain

Callahan - Nosek - Mantha
Frk - Street

Svechnikov - Lorito - Criscuolo
Hicketts - Russo

Aubry- Campbell
Paetsch - Jensen

Nosek - Street
Lashoff - Renouf


Both teams looked sluggish for large parts of the game. The team also uncharacteristically struggled defensively, several times leaving Coreau out to dry with an odd man rush with speed right in on him. The team was certainly lucky to have won this one.

Martin Frk had his cannon out, racking up a team high 8 shots in goal, peppering Forsberg with shots, especially on the PP where he was employed effectively on the point.

Hicketts was also very noticeable in a good way, and really showed off his mobility and puck sense. It appears after a fairly quiet start that he is starting to feel comfortable.

Official Game Sheet