Callahan's Pair Not Enough To Top Monsters in 3-2 Loss
Griffins Fall in Shootout...
By Jason Kasiorek
November 30, 2016
The visiting Cleveland Monsters gained a small measure of revenge against the Griffins as they held on long enough to decide the game in a shootout 3-2. Veteran Mitch Callahan scored his first of two goals to break a scoreless tie in the second period. The lead however was shortlived as the Cleveland struck back with a quick goal 40 seconds later and then took the lead midway through the period. Callahan scored the bookend goal midway through the third to knot the game at two. The Monsters scored on their first two shootout attempts against Eddie Pasquale and the Griffins could not get another past Forsberg.
Eddie Pasquale came up big, making a flurry of saves in close to keep the game scoreless. A shot by Conor Allen was redirected towards the net and lay in front of Forsberg. Svechnikov just couldn't get there in time to bat it into the open side of the net. The period turned out to be a defensive battle with neither team generating much in the way of sustained pressure. Shots on goal: GR 12 - Cle 7.
Mitch Callahan and the much larger Oleg Yevenko got tangles up and slashed at each other behind the play. Callahan in front of the net on the powerplay, tipped a Ben Street point shot past Forsberg to open the scoring. Moutrey answered right back for the Monsters, snapping a long shot past Pasquale from just under the right circle. Kyle Criscuolo got sprung on a breakaway and Siebenaler gave him a big whack from behind to break up the scoring chance, earning him a trip to the box. Nice effort by Svechnikov to weave his way through traffic and into the zone for a great chance in close. Sonny Milano circled the net with puck and caught Pasquale cheating off the post, sneaking a shot in glove side for a 2-1 lead. Martin Frk boarded Pendenza and was sent to the box. Matt Ford with a steal, sprung Nosek for a break. He went wide and fired a shot into Forsberg. Svechnikov got the puck deep, gave it to street and then got it back in front. He and Callahan jammed away at it until the goal light went on. It was pretty quickly called off and the score stood 2-1. Shots on goal: GR 17 - Cle 10.
Callahan with a great chance all alone between the circles. No Colin Campbell on the bench to start the third period, and he would not return for the rest of the game. Grand Rapids really starting to pile up shots, but not a lot of high percentage scoring chances. With the Griffins on the powerplay, Callahan was Johhny on the spot , picking up a loose puck in front and firing it through Forsberg to tie the game at two apiece. Turgeon in deep with a bad angle scoring chance that Forsberg just stopped. Nathan Paetsch blocked a shot and was stung, but stayed in the play, blocking another shot and helping to clear the zone before hobbling to the bench. Great Monsters scoring chance and Lorito cross-checked Pendenza leading to a late Cleveland powerplay. Things got ugly in front of the Monsters net as Aubry got hung up with several Cleveland players and had to fight his way out. Shots on goal: GR 11 - Cle 8.
Big stop by Pasquale on the opening shift of 3-on-3. Cleveland delayed penalty, Pasquale to the bench for an extra skater and GR doing a good job of generating shots and keeping control until the whistle. Frk blasted a cannon of a shot that hit Forsberg low and he needed a few minutes to compose himself, doubled over with his hand in his pants. Another Frk blast created a chance, but an early whistle blew before Callahan could bury the rebound. Frk with yet another great chance, but tried to do too much himself and got knocked off the puck. Shots on goal: GR 4 - Cle 1. For the Game: GR 44 - Cle 26.
Sonny Milano was the first shooter for Cleveland, going straight in on Pasquale and ripping a shot that Pasquale made a pad save on, but seemed to have some trouble with. After a lengthy review it was ruled a goal. Frk went first for GR and made a great move, but just couldn't get the puck over Forsberg's outstretched leg. Palushaj went next for Cleveland and made no mistake ripping a shot five-hole through Pasquale. Lorito had a chance to keep Grand Rapids alive, but missed the net on his attempt, ending the game, a 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Monsters.
Frk - Nosek- Lorito
Callahan - Street - Campbell/Svechnikov
Borkowski - Aubry - Svechnikov
Criscuolo - Turgeon - Ford
Renouf - Russo
Lashoff - Jensen
Paetsch - Allen
#11 Cleary - Veteran
#26 Tangradi - Hand
Callahan - Nosek - Lorito
Frk - Street
Ford - Criscuolo - Svechnikov
Russo - Allen
Aubry - Campbell/Street
Lashoff - Jensen
Nosek - Ford
Paetsch - Renouf
Evgeny Svechnikov had perhaps the best game I have seen him play with the Griffins. He was rewarded for some great work and second effort with an in-game promotion to a scoring line and did not look out of place. He had a pair of dominant shifts in the second period where he appeared to have the puck on a string and did whatever he wanted with it through traffic. If he can bring that a bit more often, the results should start showing up on the scoresheet more often.
Dominic Turgeon also had his second strong outing in a row and was much more engaged and intense. This was apparent not only in his normally strong defensive game being even better, but in his being much more involved offensively.
It was nice to see Callahan rewarded with a couple of goals tonight. He has worked so hard but has been snakebit the last stretch of games after a really hot start.
Pasquale had an up and down game, making some incredible stops, but neither of the goals he gave up were very strong. He is in unfamiliar territory as the everyday starter, and it remains to be seen how that will play out.