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Monsters edge Griffins in shootout, 3-2

Feb. 13—Some fans enjoy high-scoring hockey games when the goalies are constantly turning around to sweep the puck out of their net, slip up their masks, and douse their faces with water from their Gatorade bottles. That's fine.

Low-scoring games like the one the Monsters and Grand Rapids Griffins played Feb. 13 to end a 10-game homestand at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse have a different kind of excitement and intensity because every rush down the ice could produce the winning goal.

The Monsters scored twice in the final seven minutes of the second period to break a 0-0 tie, saw their lead vanish in the third period and then recovered to beat the Griffins in a shootout to skate to the locker room on the fun end of a 3-2 score. The Monsters lost five of their previous six games.

"Happy ending," Coach Trent Vogelhuber said. "It wasn't perfect for sure. We're working through some stuff. Things that are sometimes easy for guys aren't. That's what happens when confidence dips a little bit.

"We're just trying to take one day at a time and build. I'm happy they got rewarded. I don't even care that we gave up a two-goal lead. We came back and found a way to win."

Neither team scored in the five-minute overtime. Monsters goalie Jet Greaves made six saves, The Monsters had only two shots on net in the extra session, partly because they had to kill off a two-minute slashing penalty charged to Trey Fix-Wolansky.

The coach of the home team gets to choose which team goes first in a shootut. Vogelhuber prefers the Monsters go second.

Griffins left wing Tim Gettinger opened the shootout by beating Greaves to the stick side. Fix-Wolansky went first for the Monsters and scored. Greaves stopped the next Grand Rapids shooter, then Mikael Pyyhtia of the Monsters got Griffins goalie Michael Hutchinson to commit to blocking a low shot.

When Hutchinson went down, Pyythia snapped a shot under the crossbar to give the Monsters a 2-1 led in the shootout. Greaves made the next save and the celebration began.

"I've had Fixy for five years," Vogelhuber said. "He's good on the shootout. Pyythia's proven that as well.

"I talk to the goalies. Greaver likes (the Monsters) to go second. That's my preference also. I like to end it with a goal."

Carson Meyer and Alex Whelan scored the second-period goals for the Monsters.

Winning moved the Monsters back into a first place tie with Syracuse in the AHL North. The Monsters are 27-15-2-1. The Crunch is 26-14-3-2. Both teams have 55 points.

The 10-game homestand just completed was the longest in franchise history. The Monsters play their next six games on the road. They play at Grand Rapids on Feb. 16 then play-back to back games in Chicago against the Wolves Feb. 17 and 18,

The following week they play at Hartford on Feb. 22 then at Providence on Feb. 23 and Feb. 25.