CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In Game 2 of the best-of-seven Central Division Finals, Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters stormed back from a third-period deficit to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins at The Q on Saturday by a final score of 4-3. With the win, the Monsters claimed a 2-0 series lead on Grand Rapids as the series shifts to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI for game three, Sunday at 4:00 p.m.
The Monsters leaped to a 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to a pair of power-play goals, from Sonny Milano at 14:39 on feeds from Kerby Rychel and Zach Werenski, and Steve Eminger at 17:33, with T.J. Tynan and Werenski posting assists on the play. With just seconds remaining in the opening frame, Grand Rapids took advantage of a five-on-three power-play to draw within a goal thanks to an Eric Tangradi transition score at 19:56.
In the second period, the Griffins claimed a 3-2 lead thanks to back-to-back markers from Xavier Ouellet at 2:05 at even-strength, and Andy Miele at 14:58 on the power-play. After a hard-fought third period slid by mostly scoreless, the Monsters tied the game at 14:10 when Lake Erie captain Ryan Craig deposited an end-wall feed from Trent Vogelhuber and Justin Falk past the glove hand of Griffins' net-minder Tom McCollum at even-strength. Then, at 16:46, a crisp five-on-five passing play saw Vogelhuber and Jaime Sifers set up Daniel Zaar for a left-circle marker that ultimately proved to be the decisive score in a 4-3 Monsters win.
Lake Erie goaltender Joonas Korpisalo improved to 5-0 in net for the Monsters in the playoffs thanks to a 23-save performance, while McCollum made 16 stops in defeat.
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