GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Cleveland Monsters squared off in the rubber match of a back-to-back matchup inside the Van Andel Arena. The Monsters were looking to avenge their loss from Tuesday night, but the Griffins came back to win, 5-3.
The first period saw Cleveland control the pace of play for the first half. Playing in his second-ever AHL game, Griffins goalie Kaden Fulcher was on his heels as the period opened. But the final half of the opening period saw the ice tilt in the direction of the home team as they were able to gain the Cleveland zone multiple times. Neither goalie flinched and the first period ended scoreless.
After a sluggish opening period, the Cleveland Monsters got on the board with yet another power-play goal. A blast from Monsters defenseman Wyatt Newpower put the visitors up 1-0. That was the Monsters third power-play goal in their previous two games. The score remained 1-0 after 40 minutes. Fulcher made some great saves to keep the Monsters advantage to just a goal.
The Griffins have been prone to start clicking offensively in the third period. They were able to rally in the third period during their 5-3 victory. Givani Smith knotted the game at a goal a piece when he scored on a feed from Taro Hirose. Smith unleashed a wrist shot near the top of the right circle that beat Matiss Kivlnieks. Grand Rapids took the lead for good when Troy Loggins scored, banging a puck home that fell behind the Monsters goalie after he made a save on a shot from Dylan McIlrath.
The Griffins still have not lost a regulation game at home this season, improving their home ice record to 5-0-3.
Kaden Fulcher was solid in net stopping 27 of 28 shots.
Dominik Shine began the game playing defense again before trading places with Tyler Spezia to play forward.
The Griffins will play again on April 26 when they host the Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m.
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