Scoring Bonanza Ends in Monsters Loss

Despite registering a franchise-high five power play goals and scoring a season-high six goals, the Lake Erie Monsters came up short Sunday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena, dropping an 8-6 contest to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Lake Erie falls to 6-8-0-0 with the loss while the Griffins improve to 8-4-0-0 with the win. The 14 scores set a franchise high for most combined goals in a single game in Monsters history, which was helped by 13 total players recording multi-point games in the scoring outburst.

The Monsters strong special teams play started early, as a pair of Brians – Fahey and Willsie – recorded power play markers 42 seconds apart in the first period to give the Monsters an early lead.

Fahey’s power play tally, a one-timer launched from the blue line past the glove of Griffins goalie Thomas McCollum, was setup by Tom Preissing. Chris Durno picked up the secondary assist on the goal at the 2:06 mark of the first.

Following up Fahey’s goal 42 seconds later, Willsie notched his fourth goal of the season, putting the Monsters up by two. Firing a wrist shot from the middle of the faceoff circle, Willsie’s shot rang off the post, hit the back of McCollum and trickled into the net. Derek Peltier and Darren Haydar picked up assists on the goal.

A solid first period wouldn’t prepare the Monsters or their fans for what they were about to witness – a second period that would see the two teams combine for eight goals. The three second-period scores from the Monsters tie a season-high for goals in a period and the five goals scored by their opponent ties a Monsters franchise record for goals allowed in a period.

Down by two, the Griffins offense took off from the very beginning of the second period, as the team netted four consecutive scores in the first seven minutes of the frame. The Grand Rapids scoring was started by Mattias Ritola, who picked up his second of the season on the power play 45 seconds into the middle frame. Standing in front of the Monsters cage, Ritola deflected a point shot from Jakub Kindl past Monsters goalie Trevor Cann. Jeremy Williams picked up the second assist on the goal.

At the 2:02 mark of the second, Cory Emmerton would tie the game with his third goal of the season. When Francis Pare’s shot was kicked out to the slot by Cann, Emmerton swatted the rebound through Cann’s legs. John Vigilante picked up the second assist on the goal.

Keeping up the torrid offensive pace, Doug Janik gave the Griffins their first lead of the game with his second tally of the season at the 4:16 mark of the second. Streaking through the Monsters zone, Janik took a pass from Ritola, and in tight on Cann, flipped the puck over the rookie’s blocker. Jan Mursak picked up an assist on the goal.

At the 6:47 mark of the second, Williams capped Grand Rapids four-goal outbreak with his sixth of the season on the power play. Standing to Cann’s right, Williams took a cross-ice feed from below the goal line from Kris Newbury and buried the puck in between Cann’s blocker and the post, putting the Griffins up by a pair. Andy Delmore registered the second assist on the goal.

Before the Griffins could score again, Fahey netted his second goal of the game, another power play tally, at the 12:32 mark of the middle frame. Standing at the point, Fahey took a pass from Cedric McNicoll and blew a one-timer past the glove of McCollum. Ryan Stoa picked up an assist on the goal. Fahey’s pair of goals ties a team season-high for an individual in a single game this season.

Keeping pace with the visiting Griffins offensively, Haydar netted his fifth of the season just 27 seconds after Fahey’s tally, tying the game at four apiece. From his own end, McNicoll threw a dart on the stick of Willsie, springing the Monsters captain into the attacking zone. Just over the blue line, Willsie flipped a backhand pass to Haydar, who was streaking down the right side. Looking off McCollum, Haydar ripped a wrist shot under the cross bar and past the glove of the Griffins goalie.

Less than two minutes later, the Monsters would regain the lead with rookie Brock Bradford’s fourth goal of the season. Battling for the puck in the corner, Durno spotted Bradford standing alone on McCollum’s far post. Throwing a cross-ice pass from the corner, Bradford one-timed the puck between the post and McCollum’s arm to put the Monsters ahead, 5-4. Fahey picked up an assist on the goal, giving him three points on the night, the most by a Monsters player so far this season.

Before the second would end, Williams would score the eighth and final goal of the middle frame with a minute left, tying the game at five. Taking a pass in the low slot from Logan Pyett, Williams pulled the puck around Cann on the forehand before turning the puck over to his backhand and tying the game. Patrick Rissmiller recorded a helper on the score.

Heading into the third tied, Durno would put the Monsters up 6-5 with his team-leading seventh goal of the season less than six minutes into the final frame. When Sertich’s turnaround shot from the low slot was kicked out by McCollum, Durno was right in front of the Griffins cage to put home the rebound past McCollum’s blocker, recording his third point of the game and tying Fahey for the season-high for points in a game by an individual.

With Durno, McNicoll and Peltier each registering two assists, they each are now tied for the most helpers by a Monsters player in a game this season.

Less than five minutes later, Delmore fired a wrist shot from the top of the circle past Cann’s glove to tie the game at six. Emmerton recorded the goal’s lone helper.

With the game tied, Vigilante put the Griffins ahead, 7-6, with his third of the season, pushing a rebound into the net from the slot past Cann with less than three minutes left in regulation. Pare and Pyett recorded the assists on what would be the game-winning goal.

Despite a timeout with just over a minute left and Cann pulled for an extra attacker, the Monsters would fall short, and the game’s last goal would be scored with 16 seconds left when Emmerton iced the game with an empty-net goal.

“It’s tough to win a hockey game when you play 80 percent of the third period in your own zone and when you keep giving up the puck over and over,” said head coach David Quinn.

For the Monsters, Cann ended the night recording 33 saves on 40 shots while McCollum turned away 19 of 25 shots.

The Monsters return to the ice on Wednesday to play the Griffins at Van Andel Arena for a 12:00 p.m. matchup before returning to The Q for a set of games on Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th against the Houston Aeros. Tickets can be purchased by calling (216) 420-0000 or by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com or visiting any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.

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