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OUTGUNNED BUT NOT OUTSCORED

12/05/2015 8:34 PM -

Lake Erie Monsters 1 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4

Dec. 5, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– Thanks to a virtuoso performance by Tom McCollum, the Grand Rapids Griffins overcame a monstrous 42-17 disadvantage in shots on Saturday to post their eighth consecutive victory, a 4-1 decision over Lake Erie at Van Andel Arena.

McCollum made 41 saves to record his fourth win in a row and backstop the Griffins to their seventh straight triumph on home ice. Meanwhile, Eric Tangradi provided the bulk of the offensive support with a hat trick, including the insurance tally with just over five minutes remaining in what had been a one-goal contest. 

The Griffins (10-8-0-1), who have tied the fifth-longest winning streak in franchise history, will close out a four-game homestand on Wednesday when the Milwaukee Admirals pay their first visit of the season at 7 p.m.

Andreas Anthanasiou staked the Griffins to the early advantage 5:03 into the contest, giving him points in six of the last seven games (5-4—9). After stealing the puck at center ice and shedding Oleg Yevenko at the Monsters’ blue line, he skated in with Anthony Mantha on a 2-on-0 break, worked a give-and-go and potted Mantha’s return feed past a lunging Joonas Korpisalo.

The lead grew to two at the 1:14 mark of the second period, when Tangradi flashed across the slot to redirect a Xavier Ouellet shot behind Korpisalo. Lake Erie would eventually outshoot the Griffins 17-4 for the frame, thanks in part to a pair of power play chances, but McCollum was a perfect 26-for-26 as the second intermission beckoned.

Lake Erie (13-6-1-2) held a 30-11 lead in shots nearing the midpoint of the third period but had still not solved McCollum, until Dean Kukan collected the puck along the boards above the left circle and flipped a wrister that found the top left corner with 11:44 remaining.

A cross-checking penalty on Tangradi with just over seven minutes left gave the Monsters an opportunity to tie the game that they could not capitalize on, and that failure cost them dearly as the penalty expired. Sprung from the box, Tangradi picked up a puck that had been chipped ahead by Tomas Nosek, and he sped in alone on Korpisalo before ripping a shot five-hole to reestablish Grand Rapids’ two-goal cushion.

Tangradi completed his fourth career hat trick by scoring into an empty net with 16 seconds left, giving him points in seven of eight contests (7-4—11). Korpisalo, whose lofty 0.934 save percentage placed fifth in the AHL entering the night, finished with 13 saves on 16 shots.

Notes: McCollum has denied 137 of 142 shots (0.965) during his personal four-game winning streak and stopped 41 shots in each of his last two appearances, including last Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win against this same Lake Erie club…Grand Rapids has allowed a total of only six goals over its last six games.

Three Stars: 1. GR McCollum (W, 41 saves); 2. GR Tangradi (hat trick); 3. GR Athanasiou (goal)
 

 

 


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