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Monsters Fall at Home to the Griffins in Overtime 3-2

CLEVELAND – In the team’s first home game since December 29th, Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters earned a point in the standings, but fell in overtime on Wednesday at The Q to the Grand Rapids Griffins by a final score of 3-2.

With the overtime loss, the Monsters are 20-14-4-3 overall this season and with a .573 points percentage, remain alone in fifth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

The Griffins grabbed a 1-0 lead on Wednesday when Tyler Bertuzzi rifled a power-play goal past Lake Erie backstop Anton Forsberg at 10:00 of the first period, but the Monsters tied the game at 17:16 on Oliver Bjorkstrand’s sixth tally of the season, an even strength marker assisted by Dillon Heatherington and Eric Roy.

In a hard-fought middle stanza, Bjorkstrand struck again at 13:17, knifing home a rebound on feeds from John Ramage and Oleg Yevenko to claim the Monsters’ first lead of the game at 2-1.

A Mitch Callahan power-play goal just 46 seconds into the third period tied the game at two for Grand Rapids, and after the rest of the frame slid by scoreless, a Lake Erie turnover at 3:32 of overtime gave Griffins defenseman Ryan Sproul enough room to wire home the deciding goal in a 3-2 Grand Rapids victory.

A single-game season-high 43 saves for Forsberg left the Lake Erie net-minder at 13-7-3 overall this season after Wednesday’s overtime loss, while Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau improved to 20-5-2 in net for Grand Rapids thanks to a 30-save performance.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Friday home tilt vs. the Milwaukee Admirals with full coverage underway from The Q at 7:00 pm.

Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

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