Grand Rapids Mauls Monsters 5-2|
Griffins score 4 straight goals in win...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 22nd, 2014
The Grand Rapids Griffins kept up their winning ways at home by beating the Lake Erie Monsters 5-2 at Van Andel Arena Saturday night. After surrendering an early shorthanded tally, the Griffins scored four straight and then added an empty netter by Mitch Callahan (7) to seal the win. Stephen Weiss (2), Anthony Mantha (2), Louis-Marc Aubry (1) and Mark Zengerle (1) also scored for Grand Rapids. Netminder Thomas McCollum held the team in early, making 30 saves for his fourth win of the campaign.
Brutal Griffins powerplay early in the first results in a turnover in front of McCollum and Carey pokes the puck between the pad and the post for a shorthanded goal and an early 1-0 lead for the Monsters. Stephen Weiss answered right back just thirteen seconds later with a powerplay marker, his 2nd of the season. Rookie Anthony Mantha gave GR the lead with a nice effort in front. He was camped out in front of the crease and used his big wingspan to sweep the puck to the opposite side of the net between Aittokallio's foot and the post. Give and go between Aubry and Jensen saw Aubry tip a return pass past Aittokallio to stretch the lead to two.Porter giveaway at the line set up Smith for a shorthanded breakaway, but McCollum stoned him. Shots on goal: GR 11 - LE 13.
Midway through the second, Zengerle tipped a Backman point shot past Aittokallio on the powerplay for his first professional goal to extend the score to 4-1. Off the next faceoff, Noreau picked a corner and and sniped a shot in over McCollum, stick side. Great rush by Mantha, once he got up a head of steam, he pretty much went where he wanted with the puck and the monsters couldn't do anything about it. A scrum broke out after the whisTle with Ferraro and Carey, before Mantha came over. Shots on goal: GR 11 - LE 10.
Great defensive play by Evans sliding along the ice to take away what looked like a dangerous chance. Pulkkinen and Callahan broke in on AItokallia two-on-one but Callahan ripped the shot wide. Sproul took an ill-timed penalty, killing off a Griffins powerplay that had just started. Aittokallio to the bench with well over three minutes remaining. Huge stop by McCollum on a chance right in front. Athanasiou hit Callahan for an empty netter and a 5-2 lead. Callahan had another great chance with a partial breakaway but just couldn't get the right angle to fire the puck.Shots on Goal: GR 8 - LE 9. For the Game: GR 30 - LE 32.
Ferraro - Miele - Mantha
Callahan - Weiss - Pulkkinen
Hoggan - Aubry - Campbell
Porter - Zengerle - Athanasiou
Backman - Marchenko
Paetsch - Jensen
Evans - Sproul
Nosek - Injured Hand
Callahan - Wess - Mantha
Pulkkinen - Miele
Ferraro - Zengerle - Athanasiou/Porter
Backman - Sproul
Porter - Ferraro
Evans - Marchenko
Callahan - Athanasiou
Paetsch - Jensen
Weiss did not look too bad, though he did get roughed up a couple of times.
Landon Ferraro was very feisty and involved in play. After several nights where he was not noticeable, it was nice to see his intensity and compete level.
Mantha was very impressive again in small doses and really looks to be getting his legs back under him and his timing back. His size is a huge asset and he has incredible hands for such a big player.
The defense as a whole did not have a great night, I lost count of the number of turnovers and giveaways by the Griffins blueliners, including several right in front of McCollum.