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Zaar's game-winning goal gives Monsters 2-0 series lead

by Tony Brown / Columbus Blue Jackets


CLEVELAND – In game two 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 pm.

The Monsters leapt 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.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s game three of the Central Division Finals, set for Sunday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI with full coverage underway at 4:00 pm on ESPN 850 WKNR and the Monsters Hockey Network.

Tickets for every Monsters home game start at just $10 and are on sale now! Full and partial season ticket memberships are also available and provide you with the best seat locations, custom member benefits and the lowest ticket prices. Group outing and birthday bash packages for 10 or more people are also on sale now.

All tickets can be purchased by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com, calling (216) 420-0000, visiting The Q Box Office or any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart. Be sure to follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lakeeriemonsters, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.

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