Griffins defeat Monsters in OT shootout

The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Cleveland Monsters, again, with a 5-4 OT shootout win at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday night.

Down 3-1 in the third period, Martin Frk scored two goals to send the game to overtime and Evgeny Svechnikov netted the deciding shootout goal as the Griffins moved to 6-4-0-0 on the season.

Anthony Mantha scored his eighth goal this season, from just outside the right post at 4:21, before the Monsters’ Jordan Maletta beat Jared Coreau moments later.

At the 9:35 mark, Aaron Palushaj gave the Monsters the lead. Jacob Graves scored his first pro goal to make it 3-1 just six minutes later.

Wrk scored his first during a power play at 17:03, making it a 3-2 Monsters lead at the first intermission.

The second period was boring compared to the first for the goalies, with only half as many shots taken.

image002Frk and Matt Lorito scored within 44 seconds of each other in the third as GR took a 4-3 lead, but Oliver Bjorkstrand tied it again at 4-4 with 6:32 remaining.

Cleveland, the defending Calder Cup champions, have struggled this season and are now 1-7-0-1 overall.

The Winning Wednesday crowd was delighted with the win, earning every fan in attendance a free ticket to next Wednesday’s home game against the Texas Stars.

Three Stars: 1. GR Svechnikov (shootout-winning goal); 2. GR Frk (two power play goals); 3. CLE Graves (goal, assist)