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FRIGHTFUL NIGHT FOR LAKE ERIE


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Five unanswered goals and a brilliant 28-save performance by Jimmy Howard propelled the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 5-1 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday at Van Andel Arena.

Five different Griffins lit the lamp, highlighted by two-point efforts from Darren Haydar, Darren Helm and Landon Wilson, while Evan McGrath contributed two assists in just his second appearance over the last five games.

After rebounding from their only regulation loss of the season and snapping a three-game winless streak (0-1-1-1), the Griffins will look to build upon their largest home win of the season on Saturday, when they visit Peoria for an 8 p.m. EST tilt with the Rivermen.

Lake Erie’s Aaron MacKenzie drew first blood at the 7:53 mark of the opening period, taking a Brian Willsie pass in the high slot, skating in uncontested and lifting a shot over Howard’s blocker from the left side. With 7:59 left in the frame, the Monsters had a chance to extend their lead when awarded a 5-on-3 power play for 68 seconds, but hard work by Grand Rapids’ penalty killers and several big stops by Howard kept the deficit at one.

Jamie Tardif knotted the score just 1:47 into the second period, collecting a McGrath pass from behind the net and quickly snapping a shot past Jason Bacashihua. Less than four minutes later, the Griffins used their own two-man advantage to grab their first lead, as Haydar’s low blast from the point slipped inside the left post at 5:19.

Helm increased the cushion to 3-1 early in the third with his first goal of the campaign, finishing off an odd-man rush by deflecting a Logan Pyett centering pass into the top of the net from the doorstep at 5:35.

The Griffins (5-1-2-1) tallied their second power play goal of the night at 12:16, when Wilson went top-shelf from the right faceoff dot off a cross-ice feed from Haydar. Francis Pare finished the scoring with 2:51 remaining, potting his third goal in only four appearances this season.
 
Grand Rapids improved to 2-0-1-0 in the season series against Lake Erie, which dropped to 4-6-0-1 overall behind Bacashihua’s 30 saves. The Griffins, who denied the Monsters on all five of their power plays tonight, have now killed off 22 straight opponent chances over the last four-plus games.

Three Stars: 1. GR Howard (W, 28 saves); 2. GR Helm (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. GR Haydar (1 goal, 1 assist)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
GriffVision Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2 3
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Official Game Report


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