Comeback Attempt Comes Up Short

Ryan Stoa’s second goal in as many games and Hugh Jessiman’s team-leading 11th goal of the season were not enough for the Lake Erie Monsters (12-14-1-1) as the Grand Rapids Griffins (12-12-1-2) scored the lone goal in the third period to secure a 3-2 win Friday evening at Quicken Loans Arena. An energetic crowd of 10,015 fans were on-hand for a game that featured three lead changes.

Jamie Johnson netted the only goal in the first period as he put Grand Rapids on the board with a power play tally at the 11:00 mark. Johnson received a backdoor pass across the goal mouth from Gustav Nyquist and tapped the puck across the goal line.

Stoa answered for the Monsters at 6:32 of the second period when he received a Cameron Gaunce pass on the right wing, carried into the offensive end, and sent a wrist shot into the upper portion of the net from the top of the right circle. The goal was the seventh of the season for Stoa, his second in as many games, and was also assisted by defenseman Nick Tuzzolino, who collected his first point as a Monster on the play.

Less than four minutes later at 10:19 of the second period, Jessiman converted after a series of moves into the offensive end. The Monsters goal-scoring leader fired a wrist shot into the far portion of the net from the right circle for his 11th goal of the season. Joel Chouinard and Justin Mercier assisted on the goal to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead.

Johnson followed at 18:40 for the Griffins to tie the game at 2-2 when he collected a bouncing puck - again on a Griffins power play - and slipped the puck over the goal line.

Mitch Callahan scored the only goal of the third period for Grand Rapids at the 4:06 mark, knocking a puck over the goal line from the bottom of the right circle for the eventual game-winning tally.

Trevor Cann (6-10-0) stopped 29 of 32 shots in the loss for the Monsters. Joey MacDonald (7-5-1) stopped 24 of 26 shots for the Griffins.

Grand Rapids converted on two-of-three power play attempts, while the Monsters scored on one-of-four power plays in the game.

The Monsters and Griffins meet again Saturday night at The Q, with the puck dropping at 7:30 p.m. The action can be heard live on ESPN 850 WKNR as well as seen live on MY43 THE BLOCK WUAB.

NOTES: Friday’s game was the Monsters second in a string of seven straight against North Division teams; they are 1-1-0-0 after the loss to the Griffins… Ryan Stoa’s goal was his 46th as a Monster; he is the team’s all-time goal-scoring leader, and now has a three-game point streak… With his goal, Stoa now has sole possession of second place all-time in points as a Monster with 90; he trails former Monster T.J. Hensick, who tops the list with 131… The Monsters are 0-2-0-0 against Grand Rapids so far this season… Greg Mauldin returned to the Monsters lineup after missing the last three games with an illness, and his five-game point streak was snapped… Patrick Rissmiller, who had 30 points last season for the Monsters, made his season debut on Friday after recovering from an injury… Justin Mercier’s next game played – which could be Saturday night against Grand Rapids – will be his 173rd, which will tie him for the all-time franchise lead (Ray Macias).

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