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Feb 16, 2024
Written By: Dylan Rider
1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Cleveland Monsters 1 2 0 1 4
Grand Rapids Griffins 1 1 1 0 3

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 vs. Cleveland Monsters 4 (OT)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- In their fifth straight game decided outside of regulation, the Grand Rapids Griffins extended their point streak to 11 games but fell to the Cleveland Monsters 4-3 in overtime at Van Andel Arena on Friday. 

Grand Rapids' 11-game point streak (7-0-3-1) is the second-longest in the AHL this season and the team's longest since Jan. 19-Feb. 17, 2018 (9-0-0-2). Alongside their overall point streak, the Griffins pushed their home point streak to seven games (4-0-3-0), which is their longest since an eight-game run (5-0-2-1) on home ice from Dec. 4, 2021-Jan. 15, 2022. Jonatan Berggren extended his point streak to four games, which added to his run of 20 points (9-11--20) in his last 16 games. Sebastian Cossa stretched his point streak to six games (4-0-2). The Griffins' overtime loss matched the franchise record for consecutive games tied after the end of regulation at five contests, which last occurred between Jan. 19-20, 2009. 

February 16, 2024  ·  2 Minutes

2-16-24 | Highlights | Cleveland Monsters

With Cleveland on the first man-advantage opportunity of the contest, David Jiricek scored for the Monsters with a one-timed shot from the left circle, which snuck through Cossa’s five-hole at 5:33. Following Cleveland’s power-play tally, Grand Rapids found a quick equalizer when Elmer Soderblom chipped the puck past Jet Greaves and into the back of the net from the corner of the crease with 12:15 remaining in the first period.

To open the middle frame, the Monsters pocketed two goals in 1:31. The first tally was batted into the net by Trey Fix-Wolansky from the goal mouth at 3:19 while the second goal resulted from a loose puck being rifled past the goal line, courtesy of Tyler Angle on the doorstep with 15:20 remaining in the second period. The Griffins cut into Cleveland’s 2-0 scoring run with a goal of their own, as a shot on goal from the left point by Berggren deflected off a Monster's hand and found twine at 15:12. 

Grand Rapids opened the final frame with a game-tying goal, which Joel L’Esperance scored after he tapped a rebound into the net with 19:48 remaining. With roughly a minute remaining, Cossa's pass from behind the net was intercepted and fired at the open net, but the puck was stopped by a diving save by Cossa. 

In the extra frame, Fix-Wolansky's breakaway opportunity was denied but resulted in a penalty shot for the Monsters, which was then buried by the Monsters' leading scorer against Grand Rapids to give Cleveland a 4-3 overtime win. 

February 16, 2024  ·  5 Minutes

2-16-24 | Post-Game Interviews | Cleveland Monsters

Carter Mazur's point streak ended at three games. 
Zach Aston-Reese skated in his 100th contest in the AHL.
- This was the first time in Griffins history that the team lost on a penalty shot in overtime. The only other time they faced a penalty shot in the extra frame was against the Monsters on Nov. 7, 2010.
- Through five contests played against Cleveland this season, Grand Rapids has overcome a third-period deficit and tied the score in four of the games.

Box Score
Cleveland 1 2 0 1 - 4
Grand Rapids 1 1 1 0 - 3

1st Period-1, Cleveland, Jiricek 4 (Bjork, Fix-Wolansky), 5:33 (PP). 2, Grand Rapids, Soderblom 6 (Hanas, Johansson), 7:45. Penalties-Aston-Reese Gr (tripping), 4:34; Fix-Wolansky Cle (roughing), 9:39; Kasper Gr (roughing), 9:39; Gaudet Cle (roughing), 12:54; Hanas Gr (roughing, roughing), 12:54; Butler Cle (interference), 16:55.

2nd Period-3, Cleveland, Fix-Wolansky 14 (Pearson, Sillinger), 3:19. 4, Cleveland, Angle 5 (McKown, Bjork), 4:40. 5, Grand Rapids, Berggren 16 (Wallinder, L’Esperance), 15:12. Penalties-Ceulemans Cle (diving/embellishment), 7:24; Hanas Gr (tripping), 7:24; Gaudet Cle (high-sticking), 11:14; Hirose Gr (slashing), 11:41; Clayton Cle (fighting), 14:03; Newpower Gr (fighting), 14:03; Aston-Reese Gr (high-sticking), 15:41.

3rd Period-6, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 12 (Aston-Reese, Shine), 0:12. Penalties-McKown Cle (hooking), 10:44; Gaunce Cle (slashing), 16:41.

OT Period-7, Cleveland, Fix-Wolansky 15 1:27 (PS). Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Cleveland 10-11-4-2-27. Grand Rapids 7-14-13-2-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Cleveland 1 / 4; Grand Rapids 0 / 4.
Goalies-Cleveland, Greaves 21-9-2 (36 shots-33 saves). Grand Rapids, Cossa 10-7-5 (27 shots-23 saves).

Three Stars
1. CLE Fix-Wolansky (two goals, assist); 2. CLE Marcus Bjork (two assists); 3. GR L'Esperance (goal, assist)

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 21-15-5-3 (50 pts.) / Sat., Feb. 17 at Rockford 8 p.m. EST
Cleveland: 28-15-2-1 (59 pts.) / Sat., Feb. 17 at Chicago 8 p.m. EST

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins