Monsters Maul Griffins 7-2|
Grand Rapids blown out again on home ice...
By Jason Kasiorek
Grand Rapids gave up 7 goals at home for the second consecutive game as the team's defensive woes are threatening to derail the season in a hurry. Jordan pearce making his first start of the season, gave up five goals on 21 shots absorbing the loss. Larsson gave up 2 goals on three shots in 6 minutes of relief midway through the game. Sniper Jan Mursak took over the team lead with his fifteenth goal of the season, while Trent Daavetila scored his first in his first appearance for Grand Rapids.
The Griffins didn't play to bad of a first period, outshooting Lake Erie by a small margin and most importantly keeping the score close. The Monsters scored the only goal of the period, on a late tally by Mercier. Mercier rifled a shot from the slot over starter Jordan Pearce, and then Josh Aspenlund ran into the rookie netminder and bowled him over. There was no penalty on the play, but it seemed to affect GR's play in the second. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - LE 8.
The second period went south early as Mercier added his second of the game just 17 seconds in. Crosty did not tie him up at the side of the net and Mercier shoved the puck in from the doorstep. Twenty-nine seconds later, Priessing fired a bullet from the point that clinked in off the crossbar for a 3 goal lead. This marked the end for Pearce who was pulled in favor of Daniel Larsson. Larsson didn't fare much better as four minutes later Sertich used Pare as a screen to wire a shorthanded shot past him for a 4-0 lead. Shortly thereafter Mercier was causing trouble in front of the net unmolested, allowing O'Neill's point shot to get through making it 5-0. Fraser sent Pearce back in for Larsson who was understandably upset. he tried to break his stick over the boards, and then fell down trying to kick his way into the bench. Grand Rapids called a timeout to settle down, but Fraser merely stood behind the bench shaking his head for most of it. Jan Mursak finally got the team on the board half way through the period, crashing the net and notching his team leading 15th of the season. Two minutes later Stoa made it 6-1 when his rising shot from between the circles went in over Pearce's shoulder. Grand Rapids had much more life and effort the second half of the period. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - LE 9.
Pearce got the job done in the third as the team looked to be playing with a little more effort. Delmore's point shot around the twelve minute mark was redirected in the slot by newcomer Trent Daavettila and went right under Sauer for a goal. Rohlfs fished a loose puck out of the crease as it trickled in to save a goal, but Lake Erie was not to be denied a 7th tally. Pearce made the first stop, but Kindl didn't take his man and let him get a juicy rebound that he banged home to cap the scoring. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - LE 7. For the Game: GR 34 - LE 24.
Tardif - Emmerton - Pare
Lemieux - Rissmiller - Mursak
Lemieux/Rissmiller/Tardif - Nylander - #19 Williams
Walsh/Vigilante - Vigilante/#20 Daavettila - Rohlfs
Emmerton - Pare - Mursak
Rissmiller/Lemieux - Daavettila - Tardif
Pyett - Crosty
Kindl - Delmore
#26 Stokes - #29 Galvin
Starter: #36 Pearce
McGrath - Groin
Newbury - Suspended
Kolosov - Concussion
Emmerton - Rissmiller/Pare - Mursak
Williams - Delmore
Rissmiller - Nylander - Tardif
Kindl - Pyett
Emmerton - Vigilante/Tardif
Stokes - Galvin
Rissmiller - Williams
Kindl - Pyett
Pare - Tardif/Vigilante
3 Sauer - Lake Erie
2 O'Neill - Lake Erie
1 Mercier - Lake Erie
Not a lot to say that hasn't already been said. The defense is porous to be kind, and this team is way to fragile, letting a goal or two lead to a complete collapse. You can say what you want about injuries and recalls, but some of these guys are not showing up to play every night. Fraser looks and sounds very frustrated and you can't blame the guy. The netminders have taken a lot of abuse as of late, and while they deserve their fare share of the blame, this team has gift-wrapped way too many chances in front and Terry Sawchuk would not have been able to keep all those chances out.
A few guys who have been playing hard include Mursak, Rissmiller, Pare, Lemieux, Vigilante, Pyett and Tardif.
Speaking of Pyett he really is doing well with the increased responsibility and ice time. He looks more confident and looks much better moving the puck and getting on net/to open forwards.
Evan McGrath has been playing for quite awhile on a bad groin that has finally forced him to the sidelines. Hopefully he heals up soon and comes back with the same fire he had earlier in the year.
Kris Newbury has been suspended indefinitely by the AHL for "leaving the bench to start an altercation". Hopefully they get that straightened out soon so he can get back to playing.
The Griffins signed Trent Daavettila to a PTO contract from the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL)before game time to fill in. After the game was over David Rohlfs' was released from his PTO.