Monsters Top Chicago 2-1 Behind Pickard's 34 Saves

Calvin Pickard made 34 saves while Colin Smith and Stefan Elliott scored for the Lake Erie Monsters (9-8-2-2), who topped the Chicago Wolves (13-8-3-0) Friday before a Quicken Loans Arena crowd of 9,122.  The win was the third straight for the Monsters, who have collected points in five consecutive games.  Smith's goal was a shorthanded tally and his sixth marker of the season, and it tied him with Kenny Ryan for the Monsters goal scoring lead.  The Monsters are back on the ice Sunday in Rockford at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

Scoresheet: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1013778

Colin Smith and Troy Bourke moved up the ice on a two-on-one with the Monsters shorthanded, and Smith scored on a wrist shot from the right circle, beating Chicago goalie Jordan Binnington short side.  The goal was the sixth of the season for Smith, was assisted by Bruno Gervais, and gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead at 13:05 of the first period.  Later in the first period, at 15:26 of the frame, Stefan Elliott scored from the bottom of the right circle to give the Monsters a 2-0 lead.  The goal was the fifth of the season for Elliott, and was assisted by Michael Schumacher and Sam Henley.

Full Game Info: 

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Calvin Pickard stopped 23 of 24 shots over the final two periods to preserve the lead for the Monsters.  The lone blemish on Pickard's stat line for the evening came from Phil McRae's goal at 7:32 of the third period for the Wolves.

Pickard stopped 34 of 35 overall and improved to 5-4-3 on the season, winning his second straight game in net since returning from the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League.  Jordan Binnington stopped 24 of 26 in net for Chicago, and is 6-3-1 after the loss.

The Monsters visit Rockford Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.  The game airs live on AM 1420 'The Answer'. 

NOTES: The Monsters are 2-2-0-0 against Chicago this season... The Monsters are 6-3-0-1 on home ice this season, and are on a four-game home winning streak... Smith, Elliott, and Schumacher each had points Friday night, and they are in a three-way tie for the team points lead with 14 on the season... Schumacher is on a four-game point streak and has two goals and four assists over his last four games... The Monsters were 0-3 on the power play and Chicago was 0-5 on the power play Friday night... Follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lakeeriemonsters, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.