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Griffins edge Monsters in afternoon action


GRAND RAPIDS 4, LAKE ERIE 3 (SO)

Grand Rapids rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third period and eventually prevailed in a shootout over host Lake Erie, 4-3, in a Saturday afternoon matinee at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Landon Wilson and Cory Emmerton scored in the shootout for the Griffins, and 2008 AHL All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped four of five tries in his first outing of the season.

After a scoreless first period, the Monsters took a 1-0 lead at 4:33 of the second when Brian Willsie scored an unassisted shorthanded goal. Lake Erie’s Chris Stewart made it 2-0 with a power play marker at 13:46.

Griffins rookie Justin Abdelkader cut his team’s deficit in half with a power play tally of his own at 16:25, only to see Lake Erie’s T.J. Hensick make it 3-1 just 50 seconds into the final stanza.

Wilson’s power play goal at 3:08 cut it to 3-2, and Darren Haydar’s first goal in a Griffins uniform tied the score at 7:34.

Howard stopped 25 of 28 shots in regulation and overtime prior to his 4-for-5 showing in the shootout. The Monsters’ Jason Bacashihua made 38 saves in the losing effort.