CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In front of 11,189 fans at The Q, Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters were defeated by the Grand Rapids Griffins in game five of the Central Division Finals on Saturday by a final score of 6-1. With the loss, the Monsters maintain a three games to two advantage in the best-of-seven series heading into game six on Monday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Monsters grabbed a 1-0 lead at 16:42 of the opening period when Kerby Rychel pounded home an even-strength tally, assisted by Zach Weresnki. From there, the Griffins posted six unanswered goals, from Andy Miele at 1:56 of the second, Tyler Bertuzzi at 5:03 of the middle frame and Andreas Athanasiou at 16:52 of the second, to make it 3-1 Grand Rapids heading in the final period.
In the third, Bertuzzi added two more goals, at 7:55 and 16:40 of the period, that bookended a Nathan Paetsch power-play score at 13:25 of the frame, to cap a 6-1 Griffins victory. Joonas Korpisalo fell to 6-2 in net for Lake Erie in the playoffs despite making 30 saves before Anton Forsberg appeared in relief for the Monsters for the first time in the postseason. Meanwhile, Jared Coreau improved to 2-0 in the series for the Griffins by virtue of a 35-save showing in game five.
Next up for the Monsters, it's game six of the Central Division Finals with the opening faceoff set for 7:00 pm on Monday.
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