Four Straight Goals Lift Monsters to Win in GRA

Photos courtesy of Mark Newman
This was the way the Lake Erie Monsters wanted to start this trip.  Saturday's game in Grand Rapids was the first of a nine-game, 16-day road trip, which certainly got started on the right foot.  Behind four unanswered goals in the second and third periods, the Monsters game from behind to dominate the Griffins, 4-1.  It was the first win of the season for Lake Erie in Grand Rapids against their first-placed North Division rival.  Lake Erie is now 2-2-0-1 on the year against the Griffins.

It took until the very end of the first period, but Grand Rapids got on the scoreboard first.  Darren Haydar scored at 19:35 on a power play, assisted by Cory Emmerton and Garrett Stafford, and sending the Griffins into the intermission with a 1-0 advantage.

The home team would hold onto that lead until three quarters of the way through the second period when the Monsters took over for the rest of the game.

T.J. Galiardi found the back of the net at the 14:02 mark of the second on a power play.  He was helped by Mike Vernace and Darcy Campbell.

Five minutes later, the Monsters took the lead for good. Captain Chris Durno scored again on the power play at 19:33, assisted by Tom Fritsche and Bryan Marshall.  Lake Erie held a 2-1 lead going into the final frame.  Much of that was do to the fact that the Monsters completely dominated the Griffins on shots in the period, 22-6.  It was the most shots ever taken in a single period in Lake Erie franchise history.  

The Monsters picked up in the third where they left off at the end of the second when Phil Dupuis lit the lamp 3:54 in.  Matt Hendricks and Mark McCutcheon picked up the assists.

Two minutes later, Hendricks and Dupuis switched roles, and Hendricks got one by the Grand Rapids netminder, assisted by Dupuis.  Vernace was also credited with an assist on the play at 5:52, again on the power play. It was Vernace's second multi-point game of the year. The three Monsters power play goals in the game set a season high.

It was the sixth and second multi-point games of the season for Dupuis and Hendricks, respectively.  Dupuis has notched nine points (5G, 4A) since returning from Colorado on January 21st, while Hendricks has also recorded nine points (4G, 5A) since returning from a three-month injury on January 17th.

Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman rejected 28 of the 29 shots he faced in picking up his 16th win of the season on Saturday.  He has won five of his last six and seven of the last 10 games. Jimmy Howard recorded 36 saves in the loss for Grand Rapids.

Lake Erie will finish three games in three nights on Sunday in Hamilton.  They 5:00 p.m. game will be broadcast live on MY43 WUAB.

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