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A Bit of Deja Vu on WednesdayTweet
It was deja vu all over again on Wednesday for Lake Erie. Just one night after losing to a divisional rival by five goals (Manitoba, 7-2, on Tuesday), the Monsters suffered the same fate on Wednesday. Lake Erie fell, 6-1, in Grand Rapids in the second half of a back-to-back, and the second of five games in six nights.
The Monsters and Griffins have flip-flopped in the North Division rankings all season, alternating between fifth and sixth place. Entering Wednesday's game, which was the 10th meeting between the teams, Lake Erie sat one point ahead of Grand Rapids in fifth place. That flipped one more time after Wednesday, as now the Griffins are back in fifth with a one-point advantage.
Their home ice was more than sweet to Grand Rapids, as they scored early and often. Jonathan Ericsson got the scoring started with his power play goal at 5:06 of the opening period. He was assisted by Ryan Oulahen and Carl Corazzini.
Darren Helm continued the scoring at 11:25, again on a power play, and again assisted by Corazzini. Garrett Stafford was also credited with an assist.
Just a few minutes later, Mark O'Leary continued to build Grand Rapids' lead. His marker at 14:02 of the first was helped by Oulahen and Stafford.
The score remained 3-0 for almost a full period, before Lake Erie got on the board 10:45 into the second frame. Chris Stewart scored on a power play off passes from Eric Healey and T.J. Hensick.
Stewart's 23 goals leads his team, and he has most recently recorded six points in the last six games. Healey tops Lake Erie with 51 points (21G, 30A) on the season, including 15 in the last 11 games. Hensick has notched 10 points in as many games.
Evan McGrath took the Griffins lead back up to three with his unassisted goal at the 13:52 mark of the second.
Again almost a full period would go by without another lamp being lit. But then Helm found the back of the net again at 6:51 of the third period. His shorthanded goal was helped by Corazzini.
Randall Gelech capped the Grand Rapids scoring on the night with their sixth and final goal at the 17:12 mark. The power play goal was assisted by Ericsson and Helm, and the game finished with the 6-1 result.
Lake Erie netminder Tyler Weiman rejected 25 of the 31 shots he saw. His Grand Rapids counterpart had 25 saves on 26 shots.
The Monsters will turn right around and head back home to host Toronto on Friday at The Q. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Monsters baseball hat courtesy of Donatos Pizza and ESPN 850 WKNR.
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