Monsters Finish Road Trip with Division Win

Mike Wall did it all on Saturday night.  The Lake Erie goaltender faced a season-high 50 shots and saved 49 of them, also a season high.  As if that wasn't enough, he also got  involved on the offensive end, assisting on the game-winning goal.  Wall's performance led the Monsters to a 2-1 win over North Division rival Grand Rapids. 

The win wraps up Lake Erie's four-game road trip over the last five days.  With Saturday's win over the Griffins, they finished the trip 2-2, and pulled within four points of fifth place Grand Rapids in the North. 

Saturday was the ninth time Lake Erie and Grand Rapids faced off this season. and so the teams were able to keep pace with each other for much of the beginning of the contest.  Neither team was able to score until Eric Healey converted a power play at 15:26 of the first period.  He was assisted by T.J. Hensick and Brad Richardson.  Healey has now recorded eight points (4G, 4A) in the season series against the Griffins.  Healey is leading the Monsters with 43 points (19G, 24A) on the season, and has most recently posted 11 points (6G, 5A) in the past nine games.

The Monsters maintained their 1-0 lead into the second period before Johnny Boychuk increased the advantage.  His power play goal at 5:49 was helped by Jamie Lundmark and goalie Wall.  It was Wall's first point of the season, and only the second by a goaltender all season.  Boychuk has notched seven points (2G, 5A) against Grand Rapids this season, and has posted six points (4G, 2A) in the last five games for the Monsters.  Lundmark also has scored seven points (3G, 4A) against the Griffins in their season series.  He has recorded five points in the last four (1G, 4A) Lake Erie contests.

Grand Rapids put themselves on the board 10 minutes later on their own power play.  Ryan Oulahen scored at 14:20 of the second, assisted by Kyle Quincy and Carl Corizzini. The Griffins outshot the Monsters, 20-8, in the period.

Neither team could score through the third period, despite Grand Rapids outshooting Lake Erie again, 16-4.  The Monsters left Grand Rapids with the 2-1 victory, the 32nd one-goal game of the season for Lake Erie.

Wall allowed just one goal on 50 Griffins shots to pick up the win.  His Grand Rapids counterpart, Adam Berkhoel, had 23 saves on 25 shots.

The Monsters return home for two games this week: Tuesday against Chicago and Thursday against Rochester.

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