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Weekend Starts with Shootout WinTweet
Photo by Grand Rapids Griffins / Jennifer Leigh
Playing in just his second professional game ever on Friday – after a two-year break from hockey due to injury - Joey Hishon scored the shootout-winning goal and rookie goalie Sami Aittokallio stopped four-of-five shooters as the Lake Erie Monsters (28-28-2-7) topped the Grand Rapids Griffins (36-21-3-3) by a 4-3 score at Van Andel Arena. With Friday night's win, the Monsters halt a five-game losing skid, and extend the Midwest Division-leading Griffins current winless streak to four games. Geoff Walker, Bill Thomas, and Mike Sgarbossa scored for the Monsters.
Jeff Hoggan's slapshot from the left circle on a three-on-two rush 91 seconds into the game gave the Griffins a 1-0 lead, and Francis Pare's slapshot on the power play from the same circle gave the Griffins a 2-0 lead at 8:33 of the first period.
Walker tipped a Sean Sullivan shot from the center of the blue line to pull the Monsters to within a goal, making the score 2-1 at 16:05 of the first period. The goal was the fifth of the season for Walker, with Andrew Agozzino also collecting an assist on the play.
Thomas scored the only goal of the second period at the 2:58 mark, tipping a Karl Stollery shot from the top of the left circle on the power play, tying the game at 2-2. The goal was the 20th of the season for Thomas, and was also assisted by Brad Malone.
Landon Ferraro scored on a shot from the left circle to regain a lead for Grand Rapids, making the score 3-2 at 10:05 of the third period.
Sgarbossa tapped in the rebound from a Stollery point shot at 13:08 of the third period to tie the game at 3-3 with his 18th goal of the season. Tyler McNeely also gathered an assist.
Overtime didn't yield a winner, but Paul Carey and Hishon scored in the shootout, while Aittokallio stopped four-of-five Griffins to secure the two points for the Monsters.
Aittokallio is 12-10-1 with the win; he stopped 28 of 31 shots. Petr Mrazek stopped 17 of 20 shots in net for Grand Rapids; he is 21-11-2.
The second half of this weekend’s home-and-home between Grand Rapids and Lake Erie is Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
NOTES: The Monsters win in Grand Rapids was their first in three tries this season; they are now 1-2-1-0 against the Griffins this season... The Monsters improve to 15-13-1-3 on the road... The Monsters have now played 33 one-goal games this season; they are 15-9-2-7 in one-goal games... The Monsters are now 6-7 in shootouts... Agozzino's assist gives him six points over his last six games... The Monsters have played into overtime 18 times this season.
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