Three-in-Three Starts with Loss

Playing their first of three games in as many days on Friday, the Lake Erie Monsters took North Division rival Grand Rapids to the brink before dropping a 4-3 contest in a shootout in Michigan. It took an extra shooter in the usual five-man shootout to win the game for the Griffins, which went into extra time due to late game heroics from Monsters defenseman Derek Peltier.

Jan Mursak began the scoring early, netting his ninth of the year 4:42 into the first period. Andy Delmore and Cory Emmerton picked up assists on the goal.

The Monsters would even the score quickly, as Brock Bradford tied the game less than seven minutes later with his eighth goal of the season. Phil Dupuis registered the lone helper on the Bradford goal. Bradford, a rookie and former Boston College standout, has recorded four goals in four games against the Griffins this season.

Heading into the second tied at one, rookie Ryan Stoa gave the Monsters their first lead of the game with just more than a minute remaining in the second frame. The score was Stoa's seventh of the year and third in the past four games and was assisted by T.J. Hensick and Peltier.

Halfway through the third, Grand Rapids tied the game on Jeremy Williams' 11th goal of the season. Doug Janik and John Vigilante picked up the assists on the goal.

Less than two minutes later, at the 12:31 mark of regulation's final frame, Francis Pare put the Griffins up, 3-2, with his second goal of the year assisted by Jakub Kindl.

Down but not out, Peltier put the game into the extra frame with his first goal of the season with two minutes remaining in regulation. Former Griffin Darren Haydar recorded the lone assist on the goal, and has registered an assist in the past four consecutive games, notching five points in those games (1G, 4A). With a goal and an assist, Peltier registered his second multi-point game of the season.

Grand Rapids recorded four shots in overtime compared to only one from Lake Erie in the extra frame, but the score remained 3-3 after 65 minutes of play.

None of the first four shooters for either team was able to convert in the shootout. The fifth shooter for Grand Rapids, Evan McGrath, put the Monsters behind the eight ball with his score, but the Monsters would not go away easily. With the pressure solely on his shoulders, Stoa beat goalie Thomas McCollum to force sudden death. But Stoa's effort wasn't enough, as Tomas Tatar beat Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman and McCollum denied Lake Erie forward Brandon Yip to give the Griffins the win.

Weiman ended the evening making 27 saves on 30 shots and turning away four of six shooters in the shootout, while McCollum made 40 saves on 43 shots and denied five of Lake Erie's six shooters in the shootout. The 43 shots by the Monsters were a season high, and the team also recorded their most shots in a 20-minute frame, putting 17 pucks on net in the second period.

The Monsters return to the ice immediately on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. tilt against the Chicago Wolves at Quicken Loans Arena.


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