Griffins dominate Monsters, sweep weekend series

The Griffins let a two goal lead slip away but then scored four unanswered to beat the Cleveland Monsters 6-2. 

Martin Frk got the scoring started for the Griffins on the power play. Matt Lorito fed a pass to Frk who was waiting at the right point and he powered a slap shot pas the blocker of Joonas Korpisalo. That was the fifth power play goal for Frk this season. 

The Griffins made it 2-0 when Robbie Russo intercepted a clearing attempt and fired a shot that deflected off of Tomas Nosek. The scored stood 2-0 Griffins at the first intermission. 

The Monsters got on the board on their first power play of the night. Oliver Bjorkstrand scored on a one-timer from the left circle. 

Brett Gallant tied the game for Cleveland 4:02 into the second. Daniel Zaar’s slapshot from the right circle forced a toe save from Pasquale, but the rebound went off both Gallant and Pasquale’s right skates before going in.

Ben Street thought he put the Griffins back in front with just over seven minutes to play in the middle frame when he raced down the right wing and drove the net only to be denied when Korpisalo was able to lean back and clear the puck off the goal line. But just a few second later, Matt Ford put the Griffins back in the lead when he fired a shot past the catching glove of the Monsters netminder. 

The Griffins reclaimed their two goal lead when a Brian Lashoff shot deflected off of the stick of Kyle Criscuolo. That goal caused Korpisalo to be replaced by Anton Forsberg. 

The Griffins put the game away with a pair of goals in the third period. After Criscuolo threw a backhanded shot on goal from a hard angle, Ford’s rebound hit the mask of Forsberg before Dominic Turgeon put the loose puck past Forsberg for his first professional goal. Matt Lorito added the sixth goal for Grand Rapids when he received Nosek’s pass in the high slot for a shot that got past Forsberg into the back of the net. 

The Griffins swept the weekend series over the Cleveland Monsters and are 4-0 this season against their divisional foe.

Grand Rapids finished the night 2-5 on the power play. Eddie Pasquale got the win for the second straight night. He turned away 29 of 31 shots for the Griffins in a solid performance filling in for Jared Coreau. 

The Griffins are now 11-6-0-0 on the season. 

Three Stars: 1. GR Nosek (goal, two assists) 2. GR Ford (shorthanded goal, assist) 3. CLE Gallant (goal

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