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Griffins Outlast Monsters in Shootout 4-3
Pare #1 star second game in a row...
By Jason Kasiorek

Grand Rapids was soundly outplayed by the visiting Lake Erie Monsters, but managed to show up just long enough to win in the shootout. Thomas McCollum was huge in the net making 40 saves to keep his team alive and stopping 5 of 6 in the shootout. Frankie Pare, Jeremy Williams and Jan Mursak scored for the Griffins in regulation, with McGrath and Tatar adding shootout goals for the win. The Griffins remain undefeated when the game goes past regulation time, winning all three shootouts and one overtime contest.

Mursak and Bradford traded goals at opposite ends of the period. The first half was dominated by grand Rapids, but they quickly fell off and allowed Lake Erie to take control of the game. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - LE 16.

The Griffins were abysmal in the second period, completely outplayed by Lake Erie. The only good scoring chance for GR in the whole period was an individual effort by Mursak to drag the puck in front for a couple of pokes. It was a brutal period that was all Monsters. Grand Rapids was not playing together and not winning any of the little battles for possession and space. They had almost no time of possession as the puck was always on a monsters' stick. The monsters finally got another puck behind McCollum late in the period. McCollum, under siege, made the first stop, but Stoa snagged the rebound in the slot and ripped it right back in for a 2-1 lead. Shots on Goal: GR 6 - LE 17.

Grand Rapids finally started to get it together midway through the third period. Janik fired a point shot that was redirected in front by Williams to knot the score at two. Two minutes later, Jakub Kindl made a heads up play to keep the puck in and the play alive. He fired a shot wide of the net that was picked up by Pare who banked a bad angle shot in off Weiman for his second goal of the season. The Griffins couldn't hold on however, allowing Lake Erie back into the game. With just over two minutes left in the game and the Monsters swarming again, Peltier got a loose puck in the slot and fired a high shot that just found its way in under the bar to tie things up again. Neither team could score again as time ran out, so it was on to overtime. Shots on Goal: GR 6 - LE 9.

The Griffins had more shots in the extra session, but neither teams really had any dangerous chances four on four. Shots on Goal: GR 4 - LE 1. For the Game: GR 31 - LE 43.

The Shootout:
Pare went first for GR and missed the net with a high shot. He was followed by Hensick who didn't get a shot off before running out of room. The second round featured Rissmiller, who ripped a shot off Weiman's chest, and Bradford who was stopped by McCollum's glove. Next up was Ritola who made a move and had the puck slide harmlessly off his stick and a roundly booed Darren Haydar, stoned by a pad save. Williams rang a shot off Weiman's stick handle to start the 4th round, Willsie saw five hole and snapped a shot only to watch McCollum close the pads and take it away. Evan McGrath made a nice move in round five, freezing the goalie and sliding the puck in past his leg to put the Griffins up by one. Stoa tied things up when he streaked in and wristed a shot that cleanly beat McCollum stick side. Tomas Tatar came in from the side , made a nice move and then scored a similar goal to McGrath's to give GR the lead again. Yip finished out the game for Lake Erie, ringing a harmless shot off McCollum's mask. The Griffins win 4-3 in the shootout, a game they had no business winning.

Ritola - Newbury - Tardif
Tatar - Rismiller - Williams
Emmerton - Pare - Mursak
Vigilante - McGrath - Walsh

Kolosov - Janik
Kindl - Delmore
Crosty - Pyett

Starter: McCollum
Backup: Larsson


Ritola - Newbury - Tardif
Kindl - Williams

Emmerton - Pare - Mursak
Janik - Delmore

Rissmiller - Mursak
Kolosov - Janik

Ritola - Newbury
Kindl - Delmore

Emmerton - Pare

Three Stars:
3 McCollum - GR
2 Peltier - LE
1 Pare - GR


This was an ugly game, prompting someone to ask whether Stothers was behind the bench tonight. The team had no jump and seemed very disinterested in playing. Very disappointing performance despite the win.

Up front Jan Mursak, Tomas Tatar and Frankie Pare seemed to be the only the only guys putting out consistently. These three got lots of extra ice time in the third as Fraser shortened the bench and started double shifting certain players.

Pare seemed very frustrated that his linemates were not fighting for position as he brought the puck into the zone. He was buzzing the net all night and played feisty.

Tomas Tatar was very noticeable especially early in the game. He threw some big hits and was grinding along the board to take the puck away. He however had the same problem as Pare in that he would take the puck away, send it to a linemate and then go to the net, but no return pass would come. Fraser eventually put Mursak and Tatar together in the third (for a while with Pare) as a reward for their hard play.

Jakub Kindl had a pretty good game. He wasn't very involved, but made some smart decisions with the puck, and did a good job keeping it in at the point.

Andy Delmore also had a few great defensive plays, but it was offset by his poor puck handling, he does not look like the world class offensive defenseman he was in the past.

McGrath and Emmerton both looked flat for large periods of the game, McGrath especially seemed content to chip the puck and skate away, not dig in to make a play.

I was also disappointed in the play of Williams and Newbury. Newbury has not been his irritating self as of late, and needs to step up his game. Williams despite the goal and team high 6 shots just seems to float through most games attempting to get his shot loose and doing little else. I will give credit where credit is due however as the two have been effective on the penalty kill.

I will also give a shout out to Kolosov who continues to be this teams best defenseman most nights. He was blocking shots again last night and was one of the few players to throw a hit.

McCollum had a good game between the pipes for the Griffins. He looked more focused than the last game, and was in position, not moving around as much. Nice bounce back game.

Official Game Sheet