The Grand Rapids Griffins scored four late goals and defeated the Cleveland Monsters 6-2 Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to complete a home-and-home sweep over the defending Calder Cup champions.
Grand Rapids (11-6-0-0) built a 2-0 lead behind goals from Martin Frk (12:05) and Robbie Russo (13:53) in the first period. Frk’s goal was his team-leading fifth power play goal. Oliver Bjorkstrand got the Monsters (6-10-1-1) on th board when he beat Eddie Pasquale just before the first intermission with a one-timer, his third goal in the last two games, lessening the GR lead to 2-1 at the break.
Brett Gallant evened the score at the 4:02 mark of the second period. Matthew Ford put the Griffins ahead again at 13:03 of the second when he whipped the puck in for a short-handed goal. Kyle Criscuolo got his stick on a Brian Lashoff shot and deflected it in, putting GR back up by two at 16:55 of the second.
Dominic Turgeon scored his first professional goal with just over five minutes remaining in the game. After a Ford shot and a Criscuolo rebound chance, Turgeon lifted the loose puck home. Matt Lorito, the CCM/AHL player of the week, fired a shot past the Monsters goalie with 2:58 to stretch the lead to four and virtually guarantee the road win.
Grand Rapids finished 2-for-5 on the power play, scoring on the man advantage for the eighth consecutive game.
Pasquale started his second consecutive game and saved 29-of-31 shots.
Earlier in the day, the Detroit Red Wings recalled goaltender Jared Coreau from GR.
The Griffins, in turn, recalled goaltender Cal Heeter from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.
Coreau, 25, has started 13 of 16 games this season for the Griffins and ranks among the AHL’s leaders with eight wins (T2nd), a 2.39 goals against average (T15th), a 0.923 save percentage (T13th).
Heeter, 28, is a perfect 8-0 between the pipes for the Walleye, the only unbeaten among qualified goaltenders in the ECHL.
- GR Nosek (goal, two assists)
- GR Ford (shorthanded goal, assist)
- CLE Gallant (goal)
The 3-Point Turn:
- The Griffins are 10-2 when registering a power play goal and 9-1 when scoring first.
- Grand Rapids scored two or more times on the man advantage for the seventh time this season.
- Lorito is third in the AHL with 18 points (7-11–18).