Special Teams Undoes Monsters on Saturday

Serpentini Chevrolet
Chris Mueller
Special teams proved to be the difference in Saturday's game between the Lake Erie Monsters and Grand Rapids Griffins.  In a 2-0 decision, the Monsters were 0/6 on the power play, but allowed both Griffins goals on the man advantage.  Lake Erie is now 1-2-0-1 so far this season against Grand Rapids.

The Monsters are in the midst of playing seven of eight games on the road.  Saturday's game in Grand Rapids began three straight away from home in six days.  Saturday was also the second half of a back-to-back for the Monsters, who lost at home to Toronto on Friday.

The teams were even matched through the first period, with Grand Rapids just slightly getting the better of Lake Erie on offense, outshooting the Monsters, 13-11.  The Griffins had two power play opportunities, but Monsters goaltender Jason Bacashihua turned away both.  Lake Erie had three man advantages of their own, but were likewise not able to capitalize on any. 

The first period ended scoreless.

The game would ultimately be decided in the second period.  The Griffins had three power plays, and scored on two of them.

Darren Haydar struck first for Grand Rapids, scoring at the 2:46 mark of the middle frame, assisted by Ville Leino and Jakub Kindl. 

A minute later, Francis Lemieux added to the Griffins lead with his goal at 3:50.  He was helped by Haydar and Justin Abdelkader. 

The Griffins drastically outshot the Monsters in the second, 14-6.  Lake Erie had one man advantage, but did not convert.  The second period closed with the home team up, 2-0.

The teams once again kept pace with each other in the third frame, with both teams taking six shots apiece.  Each team had two power plays in the period as well. 

The game finished with the 2-0 final. It was just the second time this season the Monsters have been shut out.

Lake Erie netminder Bacashihua had 31 saves on 33 shots.  His Griffins counterpart Daniel Larsson blocked all 23 shots he faced.

The Monsters are now 11-14-1-5 and return to action Tuesday in Houston.

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