GRAND RAPIDS, MI (92.3 The Fan) – Despite leading twice in the second period, the Lake Erie Monsters (24-19-2-5) were unable to hold off the Grand Rapids Griffins (28-16-2-2), as the Monsters fell 5-3 before a crowd of 10,834 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids Friday night.
The Griffins scored three unanswered goals over the final 23 minutes of the game, while also outshooting the Monsters 16-5 in the third period. Tyler McNeely, Paul Carey, and Karl Stollery scored for the Monsters, while rookie Markus Lauridsen chipped in with a pair of assists. The Monsters have now lost six straight games.
Luke Glendening’s centering pass was tapped in by Mitch Callahan from in front of the net to give Grand Rapids the game’s first goal at 14:52 of the first period, but the Monsters tied the game less than three minutes later.
Lauridsen anticipated and intercepted a Griffins outlet pass and streaked up the left wing, centering a perfect pass to McNeely, who netted his first of the season and first as a Monster. The goal was a low one-timer that beat Griffins goalie Tom McCollum at 17:34 of the opening period to make the score 1-1 before the end of the opening frame.
Carey skated up the left side and unleashed a wrist shot that beat McCollum to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead just 1:06 into the second period. The goal was Carey’s 11th of the season and was unassisted.
Callahan, once again on a feed from in-close, netted a tying goal for the Griffins, making the score 2-2 at 5:44 of the second period.
Stollery’s one-timer from the point on the power play put the Monsters in front by a 3-2 score at 14:20 of the second period. Stollery’s fourth goal of the season was assisted by Lauridsen and McNeely.
The lead lasted less than two minutes, as Grand Rapids’ Chad Billins picked up his own rebound on the power play and tied the game at 3-3 for the Griffins at 16:19 of the second period, sending the teams to the dressing rooms after 40 minutes in another tie.
Nathan Paetsch scored the eventual game-winner for the Griffins on the power play at 9:34 of the third period when he batted in a loose puck in front of the net to give Grand Rapids a 4-3 lead. Jeff Hoggan scored an empty-netter for the Griffins in the game’s final minute to make the score 5-3.
Kent Patterson is 0-1-1 after stopping 26 of 30 shots for the Monsters in his second AHL start in net. McCollum stopped 26 of 29 shots for Grand Rapids to improve to 12-8-1.
Lake Erie will continue their three-in-three weekend on Saturday in Chicago.
NOTES: The Monsters are 0-1-1-0 against Grand Rapids this season, and are now 14-10-1-2 on the road in 2012-13… The Monsters are 0-3-0-3 over their last six games… Carey’s goal gives him eight over his last 15 games… Lauridsen’s two assists marked his first multi-point game in the AHL… McNeely’s two points marked his first multi-point game as a Monster… The Monsters power play goal snapped a string of five straight games without a power play tally; they were 1-4 on the man-advantage and 5-7 on the penalty kill.