Monsters rally for 2-0 series lead

Down a goal with six minutes remaining, the Lake Erie Monsters rallied for a 4-3 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday afternoon in Game 2 of the AHL’s Central Division Finals.

The Monsters have a 2-0 series lead heading into Sunday’s Game 3 in Grand Rapids (4 p.m. ET, AHL Live).

Sonny Milano and Steve Eminger scored power-play goals to give Lake Erie a 2-0 lead late in the first period but the Griffins stormed back, cutting the deficit in half on a goal by Eric Tangradi during a five-on-three advantage with 3.4 seconds left in the opening period.

Grand Rapids then pulled even just 2:05 into the second on Xavier Ouellet‘s first goal of the playoffs, and grabbed the lead on an Andy Miele goal with 5:02 left in the middle frame.

The Griffins clung to their 3-2 lead until Trent Vogelhuber found Ryan Craig alone in front of the net and the Monsters captain tied things up with 5:50 to go in regulation.

Overtime appeared to be looming for a second consecutive game, but Daniel Zaar wristed a shot home from the left circle with 3:14 left after Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum had lost his goal stick.

Lake Erie survived a late Grand Rapids power play and held on to improve to 5-0 this postseason.

Joonas Korpisalo (5-0) made 23 saves in the win; McCollum (3-2) finished with 16 saves in defeat.

Central Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7) 
C2-Lake Erie Monsters vs. C4-Grand Rapids Griffins 

Game 1 – Thu., May 5 – LAKE ERIE 3, Grand Rapids 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., May 7 – LAKE ERIE 4, Grand Rapids 3
Game 3 – Sun., May 8 – Lake Erie at Grand Rapids, 4:00
Game 4 – Tue., May 10 – Lake Erie at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 14 – Grand Rapids at Lake Erie, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 16 – Lake Erie at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 17 – Grand Rapids at Lake Erie, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern