Grand Rapids Griffins (8) at Cleveland Monsters (4)
The Grand Rapids Griffins entered last night’s game a little gassed from playing in their third game in three days. The Monsters were able to capitalize on this almost immediately.
Alex Broadhurst put the Monsters on the board first 2:36 into the game after slamming home a feed from Zac Dalpe.
Around four minutes later, Dillon Simpson fell trying to stop Dominik Shine from breaking away. Shine fired off a shot that Blake Siebenaler tried to block. He couldn’t get there in time and the puck sailed through Jean-Francois Berube’s five-hole.
With 5:33 to go in the first period, Dalpe gave the Monsters the 2-1 lead with a wraparound goal between Harri Sateri’s five-hole.
In the first five minutes of the second period, the Griffins tied the game at two. Carter Camper when top shelf on Berube after launching the puck from the right faceoff dot.
A crazy shot by Mark Letestu which bounced off the stick of a Grffins’ defender gave the Monsters the 3-2 lead with 3:34 left in the second period.
Dalpe extended the Monsters lead to 4-2 not even 30 seconds into the third period after firing off a shot from the right faceoff dot.
Then the Griffins woke up.
Not even 20 seconds after the Dalpe goal the Griffins scored. Camper acted like he was going for the wraparound goal before firing the puck to Chris Terry who fired it into the back of the net.
Around four minutes later, Filip Zadina tied the game at four for the Griffins.
Axel Holmstrom gave the Griffins the 5-4 lead over the Monsters 8:14 into the final period. After receiving a pass from behind the net, Holmstrom fire the puck into the net.
With four minutes to go in the game, Coach Madden pulled Berube in hopes the offense could make some magic happen. Unfortunately, both Matthew Ford and Shine scored empty net goals. Both goals were pucks that were lofted down the ice. No one was fast enough to stop them for going into the net.
Zadina then sealed the deal with a goal through Berube’s five-hole in the final minutes of the game to give the Griffins the 8-4 win over the Monsters.
But Wait! There’s More
· Jean-Francois Berube started the game out strong. However, as the game rolled on, his five-hole became loose. At the beginning of the season, when Berube would drop to the ground he would pop up a little. Last night, he would drop to the ground and start to fall forward. Hopefully, Berube can figure it out soon because a loose five-hole can end up breaking a team.
· Dillon Simpson and Blake Siebenaler are an odd defensive pairing. They are erratic when they are together. They flop around and often miss their man. They play way better with other people.
· The only down side with Nathan Gerbe’s size is during a line change he gets lost in the shuffle.
· Sonny Milano is a fast, smooth, and skilled skater. Last night, Milano worked his butt off playing with determination and a lot of passion. However, he needs to slow down a bit and figure out where his teammates are positioned. There were many times where Milano almost took out Stenlund or MacInnis. He would cut across the ice last second and not realize they were already open and ready to receive the puck. The aggressive nature of the last night’s game didn’t pay him any favors either. He was easily out muscled and would get frustrated when he was double teamed in the neutral zone.
· Brett Gallant is a calculated fighter. By the time he lays one punch, Gallant already knows where he will be landing the next.
· The Monsters went three for five on the power play. It was beautiful. They were the dominate team when they had the extra man and attacked the net like their lives depended upon scoring a goal.
· “We’ve always had good looks on the net. We just couldn’t get them to go in. Tonight, we capitalized on some of our chances on the power play.” – Head Coach John Madden
· Zac Dalpe was on fire. He’s the kind of player who recognizes when he can get a shot off or not. He’s unafraid to pass the puck to whatever teammate is on the ice. The trust Dalpe places in his teammates is incredible. This has taken Dalpe’s game to the next level.
· “He’s been great. No matter what happens he competes and plays hard. He’s getting rewarded.” – Head Coach John Madden
1st – Chris Terry (1g, 1a)
2nd – Zac Dalpe (2g, 2a)
3rd – Axel Holmstrom (1g, 0a)
The Monsters have a few days off before they head to Buffalo to take on the Rochester Americans on Wednesday night.