Griffins Come From Behind to Defeat Monsters

Two unlikely offensive weapons stepped up for the Monsters on Wednesday, but their production was not quite enough to thwart the comeback of the Grand Rapids Griffins.  Despite a goal and assist from Brent Kelly, and a two-goal lead near the end of the second period, the Monsters fell, 3-2, to the Griffins at Van Andel Arena in Michigan.

Although they both compete in the same division (North), where opponents usually face each other often, Lake Erie and Grand Rapids had not met since opening night of the season, October 6th.  The Griffins took that game by the same 3-2 score, that time in Cleveland. 

The two teams started Wednesday's game getting a feel for each other, with neither finding an advantage.  The first period went by without a score from either side.  Tyler Weiman faced 11 shots in goal for the Monsters in the opening stanza, while on the other end of the ice, Jimmy Howard deflected the five shots he saw. 

Lake Erie was able to find the back of the net in the second period, starting when J.D. Corbin converted a Brent Kelly pass for the first score of the night at 3:26.  It was Corbin's first goal in a Monsters sweater.  Kelly would then do the honors himself, building on the Monsters lead exactly 10 minutes later (13:26), when he scored unassisted.  The marker was his second of the season. 

That would be the end of Lake Erie's offensive production, but just the beginning of Grand Rapids'.

The Monsters were able to hold their 2-0 lead through almost the end of the middle period behind stiff goaltending from Weiman.  Jamie Tardif broke the seal when he got by Weiman at 19:32 of the period, putting the Griffins on the board for the first time of the night.

Carl Corazzini would make sure the Griffins evened it out quickly, scoring just :49 seconds into the third period, and balancing the score at two apiece. 

The remainder of the third would turn into a battle of the defenses, as neither would give an inch.  The last stanza was nearing to a close when Mitch Love of the Monsters was called for cross checking, giving Grand Rapids the man advantage.  With just :39 seconds left in regulation, leading scorer Mark Cullen converted on the power play and gave the Griffins the final 3-2 decision.

Weiman finished the night between the pipes for the Monsters with 36 saves on 39 shots faced.  Howard saved 20 of 22. 

The Monsters are now 7-13-0-2, and will return home for a Friday/Saturday back-to-back with Rockford.

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