Second Period Undoes Monsters

With Thursday's home win over Hershey, Lake Erie edged to within one point of Grand Rapids for fifth place in the North Division.  And after the Valentine's Day win, the Monsters boarded a bus and headed to Michigan to face the very team that stood in their way of climbing the standings. Despite leading after the first period, the Monsters would give up four unanswered goals on the way to losing, 6-3, to the Griffins on Friday.

It looked good early, as Dan DaSilva put Lake Erie on the board first, scoring on a power play at 5:19 of the opening period.  DaSilva's goal was his second in an as many nights, and was assisted by Johnny Boychuk and Wyatt Smith. 

Grand Rapids fired right back, evening the score on a Darren McCarty goal at 5:53, his first of three on the night.   

Monsters left wing Eric Healey, the hero of Thursday's shootout win, broke the tie later in the first period.  His goal at 13:11 was assisted again by defenseman Boychuk, who has posted six helpers in the last four games.  Healey has recorded four points in his last three games, and is now leading Lake Erie with 30 points on the season (11G, 19A). 

The Griffins would take over from there, unleashing four straight goals over the next period-plus.  McCarty notched his second score at 2:17 of the middle set on a power play.  Jonathan Ericsson then added a one-timer at 11:24, and shortly thereafter, Mark Hartigan built on the Griffins lead with a shorthanded goal at 14:06. 

Grand Rapids continued their barrage into the third period, as McCarty completed his hat trick with a goal at 2:45 of the final stanza. 

It wasn't until three-quarters of the way through the last period before the Monsters were able to light the lamp again.  Smith took matters into his own hands, finding the back of the net at 15:51 off a pass from J.D. Corbin and Jamie Lundmark.  With the power play marker, Smith has notched five points in the last three contests.  Lundmark has posted five points in the past four games.

Ryan Oulahen sealed the win for the Griffins with his goal at 16:23, resulting in the 6-3 final.

Mike Wall recorded the loss in goal for Lake Erie, allowing six scores on 37 shots.  Across the ice, Adam Berkhoel registered 21 saves on 24 shots.

The Monsters return to action immediately, traveling to Hamilton to face the Bulldogs on Saturday.  Lake Erie is in the midst of playing three games in as many nights, and four in five nights.  Friday also started a five-game road swing for the Monsters.  They will return home on February 27th.

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