Weekend Ends with Epic Shootout Loss
A 15-round shootout – one short of the all-time AHL record - pushed the Rochester Americans over the Lake Erie Monsters (27-25-2-3) by a 4-3 score Saturday night at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. After taking a two-goal lead in the second period, the Monsters allowed three straight Amerks goals, before tying the game 3-3 midway through the third and forcing overtime. Rochester (26-21-6-3) takes a two-point lead over the Monsters in the North Division and Western Conference standings with the win. The game finished a three-in-three weekend for the Monsters.
Evan Brophey opened the scoring with his 15th goal of the season at the 7:12 mark of the first period when Greg Mauldin spotted him in front, and fired a backhand pass across the front of the Rochester net that Brophey promptly tapped over the goal line. David Liffiton also assisted on the goal, giving the Monsters a 1-0 lead they would finish the first period with.
Eric Hunter scored on backhand shot from the side of the Rochester net at the 11:19 mark of the second period to give the Monsters a 2-0 lead. Patrick Bordeleau assisted on Hunter's third goal of the season.
In a 44-second span, T.J. Brennan scored the first Rochester goal, and Brayden McNabb tied the game at 2-2 at 13:34 of the second period.
Brennan scored his second of the game for Rochester in the third period when he picked up a loose puck in front and fired it by Monsters goalie Gerald Coleman to gain a 3-2 edge for the Americans.
Brad Malone carried the puck up the left side for the Monsters and found Ryan Stoa open in front for a one-timer that bounced off Rochester's goalie David Leggio, and into the goal to tie the game at 3-3 at the 9:55 mark of the third. David van der Gulik – who arrived from NHL parent club Colorado earlier in the day - also assisted on the goal; Stoa's 11th of the season.
Overtime didn't do the trick, so it was off to a shootout to award the second point. After 15 rounds, Rochester outscored the Monsters 3-2, and emerged with the 4-3 victory. Hunter and Justin Mercier converted in the shootout for Lake Erie.
Coleman stopped 24 of 27 shots in 65 minutes and 12 of 15 attempts in the shootout, and his overall record moves to 9-4-2. David Leggio is 18-15-1 with the win, and is now 3-1-0 against the Monsters this season after stopping 22 of 25 shots and 13 of 15 attempts in the shootout.
The Monsters are back in action Friday night in Hamilton at 7:30, and all the action can be heard on ESPN 850 WKNR. The Monsters return home Saturday night, March 3rd, at 7:30 PM for Browns Night at Quicken Loans Arena.
NOTES: The Monsters are now 13-5-0-0 when Ryan Stoa scores a goal this season... The shootout loss marked the first overtime or shootout loss to a North Division foe in 25 games this season; the Monsters are 12-12-0-1 against their own division... The Monsters are now 15-7-2-3 in one-goal games... Gerald Coleman's record moves to 1-1-1 against Rochester this season... The Monsters are now 1-3-0-0 in the third game of three-games-in-three-nights stretches; the shootout loss in Rochester completes the fourth of six "three-in-three" for the Monsters this season...