Fulcher Makes 27 Saves in Comeback Win over Cleveland
Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Kaden Fulcher
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins)
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - After a sluggish opening 40 minutes, the Grand Rapids Griffins' offense scored twice in the final 20 to post its second straight third-period comeback win against the Cleveland Monsters, as Kaden Fulcher earned his first victory in the AHL and first at any level in more than two years.
Fulcher, who was limited to two ECHL games last season due to an injury, made 27 saves in his second career AHL contest. After bouncing between Grand Rapids and the Detroit Red Wings' taxi squad this season, he logged his first win since making 27 stops in the Toledo Walleye's 5-0 home triumph over Indy on March 3, 2019.
During a power play 12:58 into the second period, Cleveland defenseman Wyatt Newpower whipped a shot off the post and into the net from the left circle, the third tally in two nights for the Monsters' AHL-best power play.
As they did in last night's 5-3 rally, the Griffins found their offensive stride in the final frame. At the 5:30 mark, Givani Smith took a deft touch-pass from Taro Hirose in the neutral zone and skated to the top of the right circle before unleashing a wrist shot that slipped past Matiss Kivlenieks. The tally extended Smith's goal streak to three games and his point streak to eight, both one shy of Riley Barber's season highs by a Griffin.
Only 1:35 later, Troy Loggins scored for the second straight night, knocking home a puck that had fallen behind Kivlenieks after he made a save on a Dylan McIlrath slap shot.
The Griffins, who until last night had not won this season when trailing after two periods, have now rallied in the third frame in each of their last three wins, including Friday's 5-4 victory over Iowa.
Still undefeated in regulation (5-0-3-0) at Van Andel Arena this season, the Griffins went 3-0-1-0 while playing four home games in the last six nights. They'll play three contests next week to conclude an unprecedented seven-game April homestand.
- Hirose's assist extended his point streak to six games (1-5-6).
- Loggins (3-0-3) and Gregor MacLeod (1-2-3) each have points in three of the last four games.
- Forward Dominik Shine played his fourth straight game on the Griffins' blue line. He has a plus-five rating in those contests.
Cleveland 0 1 0 - 1
Grand Rapids 0 0 2 - 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Criscuolo Gr (tripping), 7:25; Simpson Cle (hooking), 15:20.
2nd Period-1, Cleveland, Newpower 3 (Simpson, Angle), 12:58 (PP). Penalties-D'Astous Gr (slashing), 12:07; Newpower Cle (boarding), 13:22.
3rd Period-2, Grand Rapids, Smith 7 (Hirose, D'Astous), 5:30. 3, Grand Rapids, Loggins 3 (McIlrath, MacLeod), 7:05. Penalties-Christiansen Cle (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:58.
Shots on Goal-Cleveland 6-13-9-28. Grand Rapids 13-3-14-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Cleveland 1 / 2; Grand Rapids 0 / 3.
Goalies-Cleveland, Kivlenieks 5-1-0 (30 shots-28 saves). Grand Rapids, Fulcher 1-0-1 (28 shots-27 saves).
1. GR Fulcher (W, 27 saves); 2. GR Smith (goal); 3. GR Loggins (game-winning goal)
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 11-6-3-0 (25 pts.) / Mon., April 26 vs. Chicago 7 p.m.
Cleveland: 11-7-1-0 (23 pts.) / Fri., April 23 vs. Chicago 7 p.m.
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Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Kaden Fulcher
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