Griffins Open Preseason with 3-1 Loss
TOLEDO, Ohio - In their first official preseason game since 2005, the Grand Rapids Griffins fell 3-1 to the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday in a neutral-site contest at the Huntington Center, home to the Griffins' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye.
The Griffins will conclude their brief preseason slate on Sunday with a 7 p.m. rematch against the Monsters at Yost Ice Arena at the University of Michigan, before opening their 17th regular season this Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. versus the Milwaukee Admirals at Van Andel Arena.
The Monsters scored on their first shot and built a 3-0 advantage through 20 minutes despite being out-gunned 6-4 for the period. Brad Malone slipped a rebound inside the left post past Tom McCollum at 1:05, Paul Carey connected on a short-range shot from the right side at 4:18, and Barry Goers went top shelf from the high slot at 11:52.
The Griffins had two power plays but no power play shots during the first, coming closest to scoring when Chad Billins hit the right post on a wrister from the point during the first power play. Grand Rapids was awarded its second opportunity after Gustav Nyquist was crushed in the right corner by Markus Lauridsen. Lauridsen received two minutes for boarding, and a briefly shaken up Nyquist eventually skated off on his own before quickly returning to action.
Early in the second, McCollum stoned Lake Erie's David van der Gulik on consecutive point-blank shots. On the other end, capping off a sequence in which Grand Rapids peppered the Monsters' net, Landon Ferraro potted a rebound on a sharp angle from the right side at 2:20, cutting Grand Rapids' deficit to 3-1.
Lake Erie carried its two-goal cushion into the third period along with a 21-12 disadvantage in shots. Monsters netminders Sami Aittokallio and Kieran Millan combined for 14 saves during the second frame, including the former's theft of Joey Martin four minutes in that helped preserve the visitors' lead.
The Griffins again out-shot Lake Erie in the third, this time by a 10-4 margin, but they were unable to dent Millan.
McCollum finished with 13 saves while going the distance for Grand Rapids, which enjoyed a 31-16 shot advantage for the game. The Griffins finished 0-for-5 on the power play while the Monsters went 0-for-3.
Notes: Francis Pare, Luke Glendening, Riley Sheahan, Trevor Parkes, Triston Grant, Nathan Paetsch and Brendan Smith were the Griffins' scratches. Jordan Pearce backed-up McCollum...Grand Rapids released Martin and fellow forward Max Campbell after the game. They will remain in Toledo as members of the Walleye...Goalie Petr Mrazek, reassigned by the Detroit Red Wings to Toledo from Grand Rapids earlier today, started the ECHL preseason matchup between the Walleye and the Kalamazoo Wings that followed the Griffins' tilt.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from October 6, 2012
- Rivermen Wrap up Preseason in Loss to Rockford - Peoria Rivermen
- Hayes, Kruger, Saad Trio Lift Hogs in Preseason Finale - Rockford IceHogs
- Wolves Wrap up Preseason with Win at Milwaukee - Chicago Wolves
- Admirals Lose to Wolves in Pre-Season Finale - Milwaukee Admirals
- Falcons Close out Preseason with 4-1 Victory over Bruins - Springfield Falcons
- Elkins Scores Twice as Admirals Shut out Checkers in Preseason Opener - Norfolk Admirals
- B-Sens Conclude Pre-Season with 6-3 Win over Devils - Binghamton Senators
- Penguins Fall to Bears in Preseason Clash - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Bears Defeat Penguins for First Win of Pre-Season - Hershey Bears
- Bulldogs Begin Pre-Season with 3-1 Loss to the Marlies - Hamilton Bulldogs
- Heat Announce Roster Moves And Player Signing - Abbotsford Heat
- Providence Falls to Springfield - Providence Bruins
- Griffins Open Preseason with 3-1 Loss - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Rampage Defeated by Stars, 3-0, in Final Preseason Game - San Antonio Rampage
- Stars Shutout San Antonio 3-0 - Texas Stars
- Whale Earn First Preseason Win - Connecticut Whale
- Phantoms Conclude Preseason Schedule - Adirondack Phantoms
- Sound Tigers Assign Reiter to Fort Wayne - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Barons Make Roster Moves Prior to Final Preseason Game - Oklahoma City Barons
- Rockford Trims Roster by Six - Rockford IceHogs
- VIP Cup Website Launched - Manchester Monarchs
- Mrazek Reassigned to Toledo - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Texas Stars Trim Training Camp Roster - Texas Stars
- B-Sens Reduce Training Camp Roster by Four - Binghamton Senators
- Falcons Trim Roster, Host Bruins in Preseason Finale Tonight - Springfield Falcons
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.