GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Special teams were the difference in the game as the Griffins fell to the Cleveland Monsters on a late power play tally from the Monsters Josh Dunne. For the second straight game, the Griffins fought their way back to tie the game after trailing 2-0, only to see both rallies fall short in a 3-2 loss.
Cleveland drew first blood on the power play near the halfway mark of the opening period. Tyler Angle was able to sneak a shot past Kaden Fulcher for the early lead. The game started to get a little chippy when Dylan McIlrath was upended by Monsters Forward Zach Jordan. McIlrath took exception and tracked down Jordan for the scrap. McIlrath was given a fighting and instigator penalty as well as a 10 minutes misconduct penalty for a total of 17 penalty minutes. The home team trailed 1-0 after the first 20 minutes of play.
Justin Scott put Cleveland up 2-0 as he was able to get a shot past Fulcher from the bottom of the left circle. Soon after, Turner Elson cut the lead in half finding the net on a backdoor feed from Riley Barber. The score remained 2-1 after two periods.
The Griffins may have been experiencing a little bit of deja vu. It was the third time of the season that the Griffins had trailed the Monsters buy a goal heading into the third period. Troy Loggins scored the equalizer after a battle ensued in the goal crease. Loggins fired a shot that was initially stopped by Justin Kapelmaster, but Givani Smith, Elson, and Dominic Turgeon were poking away at the puck before Loggins came in and finished it off for the tally.
The Monsters went ahead for good after the Monsters went on their fifth power play of the game. Dunne netted the game-winner for the visitors.
Kaden Fulcher made his second consecutive start and was solid in net once again stopping 33-of-36 shots.
Cleveland went 2-of-6 on the power play while the Griffins came up empty on six chances.
Next up, the Griffins will be home on Friday to battle the Chicago Wolves. Game time will come just after 7 p.m.