Monsters Top Griffins 4-3 in a Shootout to Close Season

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Brett Clark’s shootout-winning goal ultimately secured a 4-3 victory for the Lake Erie Monsters (32-33-1-10) over the defending Calder Cup Champion Grand Rapids Griffins (46-23-2-5) Saturday before a crowd of 14,064 at Quicken Loans Arena. The victory was the second in as many nights for the Monsters over the Griffins. Scoring for the Monsters were Mitchell Heard, David van der Gulik, and Troy Bourke.

After a scorless first period, Mitchell Heard streaked through the right circle to send a shot top-shelf past Griffins goalie Tom McCollum at 5:18 of the second period, giving the Monsters a 1-0 lead. The goal was the fourth of the season for Heard, and was assisted by Mike Sgarbossa and Karl Stollery. Between the 6:27 and 7:20 marks of the second period, Andreas Athanasiou and Andrej Nestrasil scored to give the Griffins a 2-1 lead.

With just 1:11 left in the middle frame, David van der Gulik netted his 13th goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2 for the Monsters from the top of the goal crease after a centering pass from Bourke. Duncan Siemens also assisted on the goal, sending the game tied at 3-3 to the third period.

Bourke redirected a Dan Maggio shot to give the Monsters a 3-2 lead at 3:57 of the third period; Mark Olver also assisted on the goal. At 6:46 of the third period, Grand Rapids responded with a goal from Ryan Sproul to tie the game at 3-3; the goal that sent the game to overtime, and eventually a shootout.

After overtime did not yield a winner, the Monsters outscored Grand Rapids 2-1 in the five-round shootout. J.T. Wyman and Clark scored in the shootout for the Monsters, while Calvin Pickard steered aside four-of-five Grand Rapids attempts in net.

Pickard stopped 35 of 38 shots in the Monsters net, as well as four of five shootout attempts for the win; he is 16-18-7 after the win. McCollum stopped 37 of 40 shots in the game for Grand Rapids and three of five Monsters in the shootout; with the shootout loss, he is 24-12-4.

NOTES: The Monsters played past regulation 21 times this season in 76 games, and were 8-10 in shootouts on the campaign… The Monsters finished the season series against Grand Rapids with a 3-1-0-0 record… The Monsters finished April with a 4-4-1-1 record… The Monsters were 8-9-0-3 against the Midwest Division this season, and finish the home schedule with a 20-13-1-4 record… The Monsters were 0-5 on the power play Saturday and Grand Rapids was 0-2.


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