Wall Stands Tall in Shootout Win

The Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins, 2-1, in a shootout Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

The game began with sound fundamental hockey, as both teams played to their strengths in their own ends. Lake Erie played defensively and attempted to keep the puck out of their zone. Grand Rapids did the same and tried to match the intensity of the fresh-legged Monsters.

The Monsters and Griffins yielded a scoreless first period, albeit the teams combined for 23 shots on goal (Lake Erie - 10, Grand Rapids - 13).

The second period got underway in a hurry as Lake Erie defenseman Vladimir Denisov notched his first professional goal at the 1:10 mark. Denisov was assisted by center Matt Hussey and left wing Eric Healey.

“We’re all happy for Vlady. He works extremely hard. He’s a guy who has come from overseas and is working hard with the transition, not only on the ice but off it as well. On the play that he scored on, I told (assistant coach) Sylvain (Lefebvre) to have him drop back. But then a few seconds later he’s in front of the net scoring the goal. We’re really happy for him. It was a huge goal for the team,” said Monsters head coach Joe Sacco.

The Griffins answered Denisov’s marker with one of their own as center Evan McGrath scored at the 7:44 mark of the second. McGrath’s goal was assisted by Mattias Ritola and Kyle Quincey.

In the second period, the Monsters posted 15 shots on goal, the most in a period since a November 24th victory at home over Manitoba (18 shots on goal – 1st period).

The third period ended how the first did, with neither team posting a point and sending the game into the extra set.

In the overtime period, the Monsters tossed five shots at opposing goaltender Jimmy Howard while the Griffins mustered only one shot in the set.

The shootout began with the Monsters electing to have Grand Rapids take the first shot of each series. The idea worked like a charm as the Griffins failed to score on their first three attempts while the Monsters scored in two of their three. The two Lake Erie markers were scored by David Jones and Eric Healey.

As the shootout appeared to be done, Griffins defender Garrett Stafford posted a tally for his squad in the fourth set. In order to squash Grand Rapids hopes, Lundmark needed to put the biscuit in the basket just once. Lundmark did just that as he beat Howard to his glove side to win the game in the shootout.

“It’s good to get the puck in the back of the net. I’ve had a few chances lately, mostly hitting crossbars. I finally capitalized tonight, which ended up being the game winner. It’s nice to get the win,” said Lundmark, who was just recently put on the active roster prior to last Friday’s game against Peoria. “I made myself look big in the net and the pucks were able to hit me tonight. I thought I let in a ‘softy’ in the second but then came out strong in the third period. I then was able to help the boys out in the shootout,” said Wall.

The Monsters return to action Friday night at The Q against the Manitoba Moose at 7:30 p.m.

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“It was a much more complete effort tonight. They guys had a nice three-day break and we had told them to get their batteries re-charged. We had a great effort tonight and it was good to see us respond after some tough losses over the past week.” - Monsters head coach Joe Sacco | More Quotes


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