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Three-Goal First Period Pushes Griffins Past Monsters

December 6, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate a goal against the Cleveland Monsters
Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate a goal against the Cleveland Monsters
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Cleveland Monsters)

CLEVELAND - The Grand Rapids Griffins' three-goal first period helped defeat the Cleveland Monsters 4-1 on Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The victory marked the Griffins fifth road win in the past seven trips.

Grand Rapids has now outscored its opponents 8-0 in the last two first periods, as they put up five in the opening frame on Dec. 4 against Rockford. Kyle Criscuolo added his fifth multi-point game in the past seven outings. The center also extended his point streak to seven games (7-7-14), which is a new career high and a season high for any Griffin.

Grand Rapids first lit the lamp at 4:26 when Jonatan Berggren set up Criscuolo in the low slot and sent the one timer over the shoulder of netminder Jean-Francois Berube. With the tally, Criscuolo pushed his goal streak to three games.

With 10:19 remaining, Dominik Shine skated down the left wing and connected with Riley Barber. Barber then slipped but managed to stay focused and wrapped the puck around Berube's left leg, giving the Griffins a two-goal advantage.

At 15:23 in the first, Wyatt Newpower took an initial shot but was too wide and deflected off the left post. Turner Elson gathered the rebound and snapped the puck into the left corner.

After letting in three unanswered goals, the Monsters found their offense in the second period. With 6:16 left in the middle frame, Liam Foudy passed to Tyler Sikura, who skated down the slot and sent a wrister past goaltender Calvin Pickard.

In the third period, both teams had several chances on the power play but were all unsuccessful. Grand Rapids was awarded back-to-back power plays midway through the frame, including 12 seconds on a 5-on-3 but were unable to convert. Cleveland also had its fair share of opportunities with three minutes remaining on a 6-on-4 with the netminder pulled. However, Newpower, Shine and Pickard garnered timely blocks.

At 19:44, a faceoff in Grand Rapids' zone was won by Criscuolo. Newpower gathered the disc and sent a laser down the ice to score the empty netter, giving the Griffins a 4-1 victory.


*Berggren (1-3-4) extended his point streak to three games.

*Criscuolo leads the team in goals with nine.

*Pickard has now allowed two goals or less in nine of his 17 appearances this season.

*Grand Rapids was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and have now killed off seven straight penalties.

Grand Rapids 3 0 1 - 4

Cleveland 0 1 0 - 1

1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Criscuolo 9 (Berggren, Hirose), 4:26. 2, Grand Rapids, Barber 6 (Shine, Spezia), 9:41. 3, Grand Rapids, Elson 6 (Newpower, Yan), 15:23. Penalties-Martin Gr (holding), 10:55; Gallant Cle (tripping), 16:56.

2nd Period-4, Cleveland, Sikura 5 (Foudy, Vallati), 14:44. Penalties-Stenlund Cle (interference), 11:43.

3rd Period-5, Grand Rapids, Newpower 2 (Criscuolo), 19:44 (EN). Penalties-Lashoff Gr (holding), 1:47; Stenlund Cle (tripping), 8:52; Scott Cle (cross-checking), 10:40; McIsaac Gr (holding), 17:00.

Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 9-10-10-29. Cleveland 7-16-13-36.

Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 0 / 4; Cleveland 0 / 3.

Goalies-Grand Rapids, Pickard 9-5-2 (36 shots-35 saves). Cleveland, Berube 3-3-3 (28 shots-25 saves).


Three Stars

1. GR Barber (goal); 2. GR Pickard (W, 35 saves); 3. CLE Sikura (goal)

Record / Next Game

Grand Rapids: 9-8-2-1 (21 pts.) /Fri., Dec. 10 at Manitoba 8 p.m. EST

Cleveland: 9-6-2-3 (23 pts.) / Wed., Dec 8 at Syracuse 7 p.m.

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate a goal against the Cleveland Monsters
Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate a goal against the Cleveland Monsters

(Cleveland Monsters)

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