Monsters Crush Griffins 7-2|
Home teams loses showdown for last playoff spot...
By Jason Kasiorek
March, 18th, 2011
The surging Griffins met up with the equally hot Lake Erie monsters in a battle for the last playoff spot in the conference. It was billed as a showdown between the two hottest teams in the league and turned out to be a one-sided affair with the Monsters establishing dominance. Lake Erie scored early and often, including a 5 goal second period against a seemingly unmotivated Griffins squad. Jordan Pearce suffered only his second regulation loss in his last 16 games, while Tatar (19) and Pare (23) tallied for the Griffins.
Great work on the PK by Pearce who was amazing, making huge stops early. The Monsters tried to establish the hitting game early, putting the Griffins back on their heels. Bordeleau went down to the side of the play and didn't get up for awhile. The officials didn't see anything and didn't call a penalty. Pearce made a great diving save, but juggled the puck allowing Mercier to bat it into the net over his prone body in the crease. Keefe and Oleksy went at it in front of the Griffins bench. Oleksy got a couple in early, and then it was all Keefe until they went down. Shots on goal: GR 5 - LE 9.
The Monsters scored 50 seconds into the period, when the Griffins couldn't clear and Pyett lost a battle in front, allowing Walter to snap the puck into the empty cage. Nice stop by Pearce on a breakaway, taking away the five hole. A few minutes later it was 3-0 with Gawryletz wiring a shot that found its way in between Pearce and the pipe. The Griffins look to be a step behind and are clearly being outhustled and outplayed. Tatar finally got the Griffins on the board, picking up the rebound from Tardif's blast from the low slot and rifling it home. Pare made it 3-2 when he took a pass and streaked up the middle with speed and lasered a shot past Bacashihua, stick side. A turnover at the line allowed a breakaway to Reed. He shot in and beat Pearce high, stick side to regain a two goal lead. Pyett didn't tie up his man in front and watched him convert a pass with a quick tap in to make it 5-2. Mauldin scored again a few minutes later on the rush, Firing the puck just under the crossbar. Shots on goal: GR 9 - LE 14.
The Griffins tried to mount a comeback during the third but it was short-lived. Kolosov took a big hit along the end boards and was slow to get up. Talbot on the powerplay snuck a shot past Pearce to cap the scoring. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - LE 4. For the Game: GR 25 - LE 27.
Tatar - Filppula - Tardif
Andersson - Emmerton - Mursak
Minard - Johnson - Pare
Straub - Raedeke - Keefe
Janik - Smith
Pyett - Kolosov
Meech - Amadio
Backup: #34 Poderzay
Owens - broken arm
Minard - Emmerton - Mursak
Johnson - Smith
Tatar - Filppula - Tardif
Pare - Meech
Emmerton - Mursak
Kolosov - Meech
Andersson - Tardif
Amadio - Pyett
Tatar - Filppula
While I give Lake Erie a lot of credit for paling well, their job was made easy by a Griffins team that did not show up. If this is an indication of how we play in a pressure situation, I don't have a good feeling about the end of this season.
Frankie Pare continues to be on fire. He is always in motion and knows how to take the puck to the net. His recent stretch has been his best as a pro, and he has put himself back on the map as a prospect.
Thomas Tatar is another player at the top of his game. His fluid skating and nose for the net are evident every shift. His game right now has a lot of flash and dash and he is a difference maker.
Jordan Pearce didn't have a great night, but was hung out to dry by an indifferent team in front of him. He deserved better and couldn't leave the game because the backup on the bench was not game ready having just ben signed earlier in the afternoon.
Brandon Smith left the ice late in the third and didn't return. It looked like the same knee he injured before.
It is tough to single out one player when most of the team played so poorly, but Logan Pyett had a brutal game defensively. He was on the hook personally for a couple of goals because he didn't tie up his man.